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El imperio de la fortuna (1986)
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In only a few cases a movie es able to surpass the book it is based on. This, is definitely NOT the case. The book, originally written by Rulfo is very close to his most famous stories from "El llano en llamas". His stories are paintings of sorts which show a part of the old rural México. People enthralled in traditions, poor people, people of the land, yet not less complex than any urban sophisticated character. His characters were motivated by the love of the land, and haunted by the demons of their choices and mistakes. In the book she is shown as a woman who fears monotony and anonymity in her lifetime. He believes that all happiness and thus all sense of meaning resides in pleasing his wife. They are driven by culture, by tradition, by the land... and in the end losing whatever material things they have in life means nothing after having lost themselves, and hope. Yet somehow, Ripstein simplifies all of this: she has to be driven by pure greed, he's just a macho compulsive gambler. It's about sex, and greed and profits. They turn out to be vulgar, and nothing could be further from what the great Rulfo wrote. In his search for realism, Ripstein makes life look like a sad succession of trivial events: eat, drink, f**k, f**k up and die. Stay away from Ripsteins movies... they all turn out to be the same.