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The Dancer Upstairs (2002)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 5,283 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 71 user | 87 critic | 40 from Metacritic.com

A police detective in a South American country is dedicated to hunting down a revolutionary guerilla leader.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Agustín Rejas
...
Sucre
...
Yolanda
...
Llosa
Alexandra Lencastre ...
Sylvina Rejas
...
Merino
Luís Miguel Cintra ...
Calderón
Javier Manrique ...
Clorindo
Abel Folk ...
Ezequiel / Durán
Marie-Anne Berganza ...
Laura
Lucas Rodríguez ...
Gómez
Xabier Elorriaga ...
Pascual
...
Marina
...
Santiago
Ramiro Jiménez ...
Sergeant Pisac
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Storyline

The story of Detective Agustin Rejas, a man clinging to the hope of an impossible love in an impossible world. Tracking Ezequiel, a delusional anarchist who incites the downtrodden masses to join in his brutal revolution against the fascist government in their unnamed Latin American country, Rejas finds solace in his sense of self-respect and the joy that his daughter and wife bring him. Then he meets Yolanda--his daughter's soulfully beautiful ballet teacher--a woman who sparks his long-forgotten passions and represents all that is good and all that is corrupt in their troubled country. But she, who appears to be a shelter from the storm, may in actuality be the storm's eye. Ultimately, as the revolution intensifies and the net closes around hunter and hunted alike, the dancer's truth will prove as elusive as the revolutionary's cause and the detective's peace. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

An honest man caught in a world of intrigue, power and passion.

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence, and for language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 September 2002 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

Sendero de sangre  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$106,142 (USA) (2 May 2003)

Gross:

$2,374,732 (USA) (15 August 2003)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The story is inspired by the Maoist insurgency in Peru known as the Shining Path. Its leader Abimael Guzmán, who was known by the nom de guerre President Gonzalo, was captured in an apartment above a ballet studio in the capital Lima in 1992. The ballet teacher Yolanda was based on Maritza Garrido Lecca, the woman in whose apartment Guzmán was found. Bardem's character was inspired by Benedicto Jimenez and General Antonio Ketin Vidal, the leading figures responsible for Guzmán's capture. See more »

Goofs

When they are searching through garbage, the female officer's mask (which is around her neck) appears on her mouth for one shot. See more »

Quotes

Agustín Rejas: I'd like to have a list of staff with access to the President's chambers.
Calderón: Luckily there are only two of them. The first is named 'Fuck', the second is named 'Off'.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The producers would like to thank ... the residents of Narcisos Street ... See more »

Connections

References Zorba the Greek (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Pearl Curtain in the Moon
Written by Liping Wang (as Wang Liping) and Wu Ming Xiao Zi
(SSS 034CD /17; Sonoton Creative Sound Solutions)
© Sonoton Music GmbH & Co. KG
Authorized by Multimusic, S.L.
See more »

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User Reviews

A promising debut
30 March 2003 | by (Lisbon) – See all my reviews

A curious but not entirely unexpected idiossyncratic choice from John Malkovich for his directing debut, this adaptation of Nicholas Shakespeare's novel fictionalising the capture of the leader of the Peruvian Shining Path revolutionary movement is a more pensive, less political throwback to the European "political thrillers" of the 1970s made popular by directors such as Costa-Gavras. Malkovich, however, dislocates the film's centre from politics into personal mores, following the story of Javier Bardem, as the police detective assigned to discover the whereabouts of the mysterious terrorist leader "Ezequiel". In a superbly controlled performance, Bardem emphasizes the vulnerability of this disenchanted, seen-it-all cop thrown against his will into the frying-pan and the way he attempts to maintain his dignity and uphold the law he no longer believes in. Malkovich proves an engaging director - despite its lengthy running time (and although it could use a slight trim), the film is neither predictable nor overstays its welcome, and the actors deliver consistently good performances. One wishes Malkovich had looked for a better story to tell, but as debuts go this is a promising one.


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