Rebel. Hero. Lover. Legend. Che Guevara has inspired generation after generation as the young idealist and revolutionary who fought for the poor and oppressed. Eduardo Noriega (Vantage ... See full summary »
Enrico Lo Verso,
In 1965, Ernesto 'Che' Guevara resigns from his Cuban government posts to secretly make his latest attempt to spread the revolution in Bolivia. After arriving in La Paz, Bolivia late in 1966, by 1967, Che with several Cuban volunteers, have raised a small guerrilla army to take on the militarist Bolivian movement. However, Che must face grim realities about his few troops and supplies, his failing health, and a local population who largely does not share his idealistic aspirations. As the US supported Bolivian army prepares to defeat him, Che and his beleaguered force struggle against the increasingly hopeless odds. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Although Benicio Del Toro was always considered the absolute first choice to headline this film, Val Kilmer was considered as a secondary option to play Argentine revolutionary Che Guevara if Del Toro had not been available. See more »
When the guerrillas are crossing the Rio Grande, one guerrilla, armed with a bolt-action M43 Spanish Mauser, is shown in a close up raising it over his head. When the camera switches to a close up of the guerrilla in front of him (armed with an M1 Garand), he is seen doing the exact same motion, down to how his equipment jostles, in the background. See more »
Lyrics by Manuel José Castilla
Music by Gustavo Leguizamon
Performed by Mercedes Sosa
Courtesy of Universal Music
Copyright (c) by Lagos Editorial (Warner/Chappell Music Argentina) See more »
Part Two picks up... not where the last film left off. As part of the quasi-conventionality of Steven Soderbergh's epic 4+ hour event, Che's two stories are told as classic "Rise" and "Fall" scenarios. In Part Two, Che Guevara, leaving his post as a bureaucrat in Cuba and after a failed attempt in the Congo (only in passing mentioned in the film), goes down to Bolivia to try and start up another through-the-jungle style revolution. Things don't go quite as well planned, at all, probably because of Che's then notorious stature as a Communist and revolutionary, and in part because of America's involvement on the side of the Bolivian Government, and, of course, that Castro wasn't really around as a back-up for Che.
As it goes, the second part of Che is sadder, but in some ways wiser than the first part. Which makes sense, as Guevara has to endure low morale from his men, betrayals from those around him, constant mistakes by grunts and nearby peasants, and by ultimately the enclosing, larger military force. But what's sadder still is that Guevara, no matter what, won't give in. One may see this as an incredible strength or a fatal flaw- maybe both- but it's also clear how one starts to see Che, if not totally more fully rounded, then as something of a more sympathetic character. True, he did kill, and executed, and felt justified all the way. And yet it starts to work on the viewer in the sense of a primal level of pity; the sequence where Guevara's health worsens without medicine, leading up to the shocking stabbing of a horse, marks as one of the most memorable and satisfying of any film this year.
Again, Soderbergh's command of narrative is strong, if, on occasion, slightly sluggish (understandable due to the big running time), and one or two scenes just feel totally odd (Matt Damon?), but these are minor liabilities. Going this time for the straight color camera approach, this is almost like a pure militia-style war picture, told with a great deal of care for the men in the group, as well as Guevara as the Lord-over this group, and how things dwindle down the final scene. And as always, Del-Toro is at the top of his game, in every scene, every beat knowing this guy so well- for better and for worse- that he comes about as close to embodiment as possible. Overall, the two parts of Che make up an impressive package: history as drama in compelling style, good for an audience even if they don't know Che or, better, if they don't think highly of him. It's that special. 8.5/10
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