In 1952, twenty-three year old medical student Ernesto Guevara de la Serna - Fuser to his friends and later better known as 'Ernesto Che Guevara' - one semester away from graduation, decides to postpone his last semester to accompany his twenty-nine year old biochemist friend 'Alberto Granado' - Mial to his friends - on his four month, 8,000 km long dream motorcycle trip throughout South America starting from their home in Buenos Aires. Their quest is to see things they've only read about in books about the continent on which they live, and to finish that quest on Alberto's thirtieth birthday on the other side of the continent in the Guajira Peninsula in Venezuela. Not all on this trip goes according to their rough plan due to a broken down motorbike, a continual lack of money (they often stretching the truth to gain the favor of a variety of strangers to help them), arguments between the two in their frequent isolation solely with each other, their raging libidos which sometimes get ... Written by
a quiet, unassuming, sometimes deeply moving look at a young man, who just happens to be Che Guevara
I just got home from seeing this movie. I'd have to say first of all that reading some of the negative comments about this film being "clean" or "boring" or "childish" astounded me.
The plot has been summarized numerous comments before, so I'll just move on to my comments.
If clean is hearing the word "motherf*cker" every 20 or so words, seeing a 30 year old man trying to get into numerous girls pants, or listening to young men talk about a woman's anatomy, then this movie's clean.
It is not clean. The images aren't clean looking either, but rather I'd say they're realistically unclean. Many things happen to the men which make them dirty first of all. The terrain is rustic, and harsh, and takes a toll on people in the movie. The people look hard, and filthy, and well, unclean.
If childish is a conscientious young man trying to make a positive difference in a world lacking fairness, writing emotionally stirring but also thoughtful, compassionate, and amazingly wise words, and lovingly wanting to close the gap between the haves and the have nots, then this movie is childish.
No, this movie's not childish. I was in fact deeply moved to tears seeing such a man as Che. These days, young men seem to want to be players. They work out, and make themself beautiful by going to tanning salons. They want to sleep with a lot of women and tell their player friends about it. Gone are the days when you see a young man who doesn't care about that, those things which are so unimportant. Che in this movie has heart, integrity, and ultimately, something players lack, individuality. This is why he became the revolutionary that he did, and you see it at the end of the film. His player friend sees it too. He dared to care so deeply that at times, it was painful to watch in the film. It changed people. It challenged the rules. It was inspiring to see the way he affected people with his quiet, genuine demeanor.
But and this is where the movie is so subtle that I bet many people missed it, it doesn't judge Che. It doesn't preach to us about who he was. It doesn't even tell us what Che found so inspiring in this journey that made him want to change things. The director and/or writer leaves that up to the viewer. The movie could've been about a couple friends on a journey, just as the quote at the beginning of the movie and the end of the movie says. That's beautiful, so generously unassuming, so gracious.
I don't know the history of Che Guevara. This movie made me want to find out more though. Still, I'm amazed at the similarities between Che and Christ now that I think about it. Che seems, in many ways, a Christlike figure to South Americans. That could start an entirely different tangent, of which I'll not expound.
With that, the end of Indiana Jones "The Last Crusade" comes to mind. Indy's got to decide which cup is the Holy Grail. Most Hollywood movies are the first cup that is chosen. And while this one may not be the Holy Grail, it's inspiring of things Christlike, humility, tenderness, generosity, intelligence, and forgiveness. Why? Because these things are important, they inspire people, and change the world.
Che Guevara. Martin Luther King, Jr. Ghandi. (the list goes on)
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