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,
The Argentine, begins as Che and a band of Cuban exiles (led by Fidel Castro) reach the Cuban shore from Mexico in 1956. Within two years, they mobilized popular support and an army and toppled the U.S.-friendly regime of dictator Fulgencio Batista. Written by
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 Che is outlining his conditions to the UN, one of the cutaways shows some soldiers crossing a muddy river. During the scene, a crew member in contemporary clothing can be seen standing on a grassy bank to the left of the frame. See more »
Ernesto Che Guevara:
[addressing the United Nations in Spanish]
Executions? Yes, we have executed. We execute, and we'll continue to execute.
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In the first of the two Che films (this London Film Festival screening I attended showed both The Argentine and Guerrilla back to back with an intermission) we get all we might expect from a Soderbergh film. Detail without obsessiveness; straightforward storytelling without diluting or oversimplification. The period covered is the Cuban revolution from inception to completion, with flashbacks of Guevara addressing the UN in 1964. Though a large - and largely well-acted - ensemble film, Del Toro dominates the screen. His presence, utterly submerged in his character, gives the impression of a patient, caring Guevara, steely, rather than fiery and almost never ill-tempered. I don't know if we are given a balanced portrait of Guevara but this performance will win Del Toro a best performing actor Oscar. The bookies might as well pay out now.
On top of the Soderbergh's own lush photography I was also stirred by Alberto Iglesias' insistent, original but unobtrusive score. By far the better of the two Che biopics. 8/10
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