Jacob van Oppen, the former strongest man on earth, and his manager Orsini, who calls himself "the Prince", make a good living by traveling around small South American towns and organizing ...
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Antoine de Caunes
Jacob van Oppen, the former strongest man on earth, and his manager Orsini, who calls himself "the Prince", make a good living by traveling around small South American towns and organizing wrestling exhibitions. Arriving in Santa Maria, they are met with uncommon enthusiasm, the local newspaper wants to sponsor the fight, helping hands placard the town with posters, and an open call is made for a worthy adversary. Ever so resourceful, Orsini knows how to find the right combatant, but fishing in Santa Maria could lead to a bigger catch than he'd hoped for. Written by
Warsaw Film Festival
Best Spanish-speaking movie I've ever seen (okay, with some English)
If you like Hemmingway or Mark Twain, you'll love this movie. This is the story of a washed-out champ (with Hemmingway it is usually a bullfighter, here it is a wrestler) who's way past his prime and just doesn't know when to quit. But he is not so over the hill that he can't be used by someone -- in this case a con man calling himself Prince Orsini. Orsini takes the pathetic (think washing in public fountains and wailing loudly in churches) ex-athlete on a tour of South America. They go from town to town where Orsini offers a $1,000 reward to anyone who could last 3 minutes in the ring with the champ. Then he normally bribes the local strongman to accept the challenge and throw the fight (and of course charges everyone in town for admittance).
But in the town of Santa Maria, the duo lucks out: the local strongman turns out to be not only very strong, but also very honest: he won't accept a bribe. Orsini, afraid of losing both the reward money and his champ to boot, leaves no stone unturned in an attempt to get out of the fight. I won't give away the ending, but it very well done -- one of the best, most satisfying endings in any movie I've ever seen. In all, this is a masterpiece with many comedy moments and an excellent character development. You don't have to be a wrestling fan to enjoy (I'm not), and you won't be able to help reflecting on the fact that all of us will one day be past our prime.
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