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|Index||11 reviews in total|
An excellent movie about Mirabal Sisters.I found it a little bit crude and violent, but necessary to express the violence of Latin American dictatorship in the 50s. The cinematography by Ricardo de Angelis expresses the beauty of the Dominican Republic countryside and at the same time the sadness of the people under Trujillo's power. Editor Nelson Rodriguez made a good job as usual. We are not used to see actress Michelle Rodriguez in this type of character and we were surprised by its very fine and poetic Spanish. Cesar Evora as Antonio de La Maza is impressive as the macho that finally killed Trujillo. What I preferred of this movie is how the story is told and how the dramatic process fits the real historic facts.
A film with ups and downs, that's Tropico de Sangre! Being said that,
come on, it's a try. And it really has substance and good things to be
pointed out! Tropico de Sangre exposes in an authentic way the often
repeated story of the Mirabal Sisters.
To start off with the good, the movie's technical aspects are admirable. The image is great, the effects are great, and the production managed to successfully achieve the environment of the 50's with a hit in both dressing and scenery.
The performance of several actors such as Sharlene Taule and Sergio Carlo (btw, is that his name?) performing Manolo were standouts, as well as the performance of experienced Cesar Evora. Michelle Rodriguez, despite the negative aspects, delivered the expected. Other minor actors like the one performing Minerva's father and the one performing Johnny Abbes resulted convincing as well.
The way they tell the story is completely different to what we have seen, almost like much more poetical to me, and with right touches of fiction.
Going to the cons, the story seemed to run slower than how it should have run. Sometimes you felt lost regarding some characters: who is he? why is he there?
Juan Fernandez performance, is truly disappointing often falling in ridiculousness. His voice trying to imitate Trujillo sounded like a comic brought to the screen, and his inflexions were way too robotic. Minerva's mom is a complete joke as well! Very bad make up and very depressing performance! Actresses like Claudette Lali, Luchy Estevez, Celines Toribio... are just soap opera-ish! Too melodramatic and no real essence. Very superficial!
Anyways, this move is dignifying Dominican depressing cinema!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
first of all, bless the Mirabal sisters and every single other person
who gave their lives to bring down the absolute TYRANT that Trujillo
was; they gave their lives in order to provide a better future for
their children and nation.
the acting, every single person, was phenomenal. as a fan of Michelle Rodriguez, I was blown away by her performance as Minerva. while I love her tough chick roles- female power is a great thing to see- this is her best film. she is fantastic in this film. Juan Fernandez as Trujillo was spot-on; a terrifying, disgusting animal of a 'human' and it made me want to shoot him myself (though I said HECK YES as he was killed by Antonio de la Maza!)
a very sad film, you'll cry at the end; I'm sure of it. rest peacefully, those who gave their lives to bring down the tyrant that Trujillo was, and especially the Mirabal sisters; for you died doing what is right.
Is it true the some of the actors could have done it better, yes. I am not an expert, but at some point I did feel the acting could have been more honest and natural. But I personally liked Cesar Evora (this dude transmit everything with his expressions and voice), Juan Fernandez (his voice was a good try based of Trujillo's tone), Michelle (showing she is not only about action and such a beautiful smile) and Sergio Carlo. Overall the movie is a good and decent try. Normally in DR the movies are related to the comedy gender, so movies like this one and Yuniol related to drama and important aspects of the Dominican society it's a sign that Dominican theater has potential in terms of writing, film and also acting. I liked what Juan Delancer tried to do with the film, the scenario, taking you to that time with the clothing, cars, music, government institutions. The story of the Mirabal sisters and what the years of Trujillo's time meant for the Dominican history and the Latin American history in general is important to remember. Sometimes looking at the past we can try to avoid the mistakes in the future. Thanks for the film.
The history of Dictator Rafael Leonides Trujillo's regime in the
Dominican Republic is extremely compelling. It is a subject that
shocked and captivated readers in Julia Alvarez's book, In the Time of
the Butterflies, which was advertised as a fictionalized account of the
Mirabal sisters' struggle against the evil dictator. Tropico de Sangre
was advertised more as "based on the true story." However, it felt like
I was watching a Lifetime movie or Univision soap opera. The focus
seemed to be more on romanticizing a steadfast woman who wasn't going
to let a powerful man push her around (constant proud references to how
stubborn she was, and how she refused to do simple things like write an
apology letter, even at the expense of members of her family), than
telling the story of a brave and intelligent revolutionary who risked
everything because she felt she had little choice. Rodriguez's
character comes across like she likes to fight, and battles Trujillo
just to show him he can't mess with her. There was not enough buildup
in the beginning as to why Trujillo is so terrible, or why Minerva
hates him so much in the beginning (although he certainly gives her
good reason later). Also, it is a bit ridiculous how powerful the film
makes her seem from the outset, defying Trujillo so openly that he
spends years personally tracking her life and frustrated whenever she
succeeds; if she was that much in the forefront in his mind, the real
Trujillo would have had her eliminated/neutralized a long time ago, as
he did with so many others who did less to him. I also disliked the
poor, cheapy quality of the score/soundtrack.
On a final note, the actors did a good job overall. I don't know enough about Trujillo to gauge whether Fernandez accurately portrayed him, but he sure as hell made you hate him and his God complex. Ironically, I felt that the weakest performance came from the biggest name. At first, I thought that maybe Rodriguez seemed a bit awkward because she was doing a Spanish-language film (this can be a tough task for someone who is used to starring in English films, even if she is a native speaker). However, as the film progressed, and her character developed, I realized that I only like Rodriguez in tough-chick roles; it's like she only has one gear. As an innocent, happy girl with dream-filled eyes, Rodriguez's performance seemed forced, but as soon as Minerva's character had developed into a confident, hardened revolutionary, Rodriguez hit her full stride again, igniting the fire in her eyes and setting her jaw in a defiant way at just the right times.
So maybe I am NOT a world famous movie critic, but I thought the movie
was excellent! Also, I AM NOT an expert in Dominican Republic history.
Having said that, the movie DID make me connect with the characters,
and the story-line was compelling, and powerful. Sadly, things like
these need to happen, in order for the world to be a better place. I
can most certainly say that her (Michelle's) pronunciation of the
Spanish language, with a Dominican accent, was at best, "hard to
swallow". But I think she was perfect for the role.
So, I disagree with, juliaaltagracia and timlin-4, that the movie was no good.
I first came upon the stories about Trujillo in The Galíndez File.
There he conspired with an equally evil man, Francisco Franco, to
eliminate the competition. In face they showed part of that story in
All fascist dictators are basically the same. They rule by fear and eliminate any opposition. They take what they want, and, in this case, Trujillo wanted Minerva Mirabal (Michelle Rodriguez).
She wanted nothing to do with him, else we wouldn't have a story. Naturally, her life, and the life of her family, were at risk due to her obstinacy.
The pacing of the film was rather slow, and the performances were wooden. I came to see Michelle Rodriguez, and turned in a credible performance.
This is the second Dominican film I've seen. The other one was Sanky
Panky. I think in three years or so Dominican cinema has somewhat
improved: I liked the photography and the music. Nothing to say about
them, they were quite good.
Unfortunately, there was a huge amount of things I did not like: - Acting was very very bad. Trujillo looked more like a clown than a dictator. Soap Opera style acting indeed.
- Screenplay: Full of holes, unarticulated, slow as hell, too much into details of the initial situation, not enough of the really critical ones. The best friend of a good screenplay writer is the delete key. Delancer's computer may not have one.
- Details, details, details: Parties that does not feel like ones, body-building Minerva, lots of clichés that the Dominican directors tends to include in films just as promotion of the country: baile de palos, serenatas...
My general feeling was that the film did not present the real things but kind of a caricature of them.
Tropico de Sangre is the movie of reference on dictators in Latin
America in the 50s.It is definitely one of Michelle Rodriguez best role
and a good biopic.
PROS: Photography of Ricardo De Angelis is great. The original Music by Manuel Tejada , in 5.1, sounds impressive and is wonderfully mixed with merengues of that era. Acting by Michelle and Cesar Evora playing with poetry and action gives a great performance.The story is wonderfully told and the presence of real survivor Dede Mirabla brings a realistic touch.
CONS: Editing is too slowly paced, at least on the first part.The second part is better. Juan Fernandez as Trujillo doest not convince me. A few supporting actors give a poor performance. As a whole, this movie should be seen by everybody who cares about violence against women and is a powerful testimony of a very sad era of the American history.
I watched this for Michelle Rodriguez, and hope she had fun making it, because it was not fun watching. Production standards are lower than TV, giving the movie the feel of an after-school special or soap opera. I suppose that's normal for Latin America, but why anyone would watch this is mystifying, as it seems written for elementary schoolers, yet contains brutal torture scenes that are the only half-effective part of the film because of this naive and amateurish ambiance. We learn that heroic main characters will die, and the film proceeds to tell the story of how they do hardly anything, are pushed around, and finally do nothing as they are killed. Even if you are used to this poor quality and have a stake in the history, movie film is pointless. Worse than pointless because the myth of the Mirabals seems mostly to be fetishizing their sex rather than their revolutionary principles.
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