In 1950s Cuba, a professional gambler falls for a woman heavily involved in the revolution movement.In 1950s Cuba, a professional gambler falls for a woman heavily involved in the revolution movement.In 1950s Cuba, a professional gambler falls for a woman heavily involved in the revolution movement.
better than expected, up to a point
The island of Cuba is a long way from Morocco, but in Sydney Pollack's film of the same name the city of Havana isn't too far removed from 'Casablanca'. The two films share a similar exotic locale, the same shady intrigue, and an all too familiar bittersweet romance. All that's missing are Peter Lorre and Sydney Greenstreet, but what's surprising about Pollack's film is how well it stands up under the comparison. Robert Redford portrays a tough and charismatic (if slightly disreputable) gambler who drifts into the decadent Cuban capital during the last, desperate days of the Battista regime, and it's a pleasure to watch him playing, for once, a character without a built-in halo. The foreign intrigue, played against a background of political unrest, is perfectly suited to the swinging tropical setting, but the romance between Redford and beautiful revolutionary Lena Olin isn't as convincing. Don't blame the talented cast; the script lets them down too often during the last half of the film, undermining an otherwise attractive and entertaining bit of high-grade, escapist fluff.
- Nov 25, 2010
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