Episodic look at the life of Cuban poet and novelist, Reinaldo Arenas (1943-1990), from his childhood in Oriente province to his death in New York City. He joins Castro's rebels. By 1964, he is in Havana. He meets the wealthy Pepe, an early lover; a love-hate relationship lasts for years. Openly gay behavior is a way to spite the government. His writing and homosexuality get him into trouble: he spends two years in prison, writing letters for other inmates and smuggling out a novel. He befriends Lázaro Gomes Garriles, with whom he lives stateless and in poverty in Manhattan after leaving Cuba in the Mariel boat-lift. When asked why he writes, he replies cheerfully, "Revenge." Written by
Set in Cuba, the film was made entirely in Mexico, with Veracruz doubling as Havana. Julian Schnabel said the crew was so pleasant to work with, that if he was making a film in the arctic, he would use a Mexican crew. See more »
This is simply a good movie. After seeing it I wanted to read more of Arenas' writing and wanted to know more about him.
The film focus on some milestones in Arenas' life and through him tells the story of the Cuban revolution. Arenas was a huge supporter of the revolution and truly believed that through it he can have more freedom and his fate and disillusion with it is somewhat tragic.
The film use a realistic approach to its subject matter and use to its advantage footage from the archive. Schnabel's direction is restrain and give the film its power. Javier Bardem is superb as Arenas and his Oscar nomination is well deserved,though it is shame his chance of winning is close to zero. He carries the film on his shoulders and make you care of what happens to Arenas. Supporting actors are also good and help the film very much.
Just go and see this film.It is powerful.It convey its message well and it is one of the best film I have seen in long time
5 of 5 people found this review helpful.
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