Mexican half-brothers Beto and Tato--who will eventually be appropriately nicknamed Rudo (rough) and Cursi (corny)--have a typical love/hate relationship. They both work on a banana plantation and live with their extended family consisting of their mother, abusive stepfather, sister Nadia, and Beto's wife Toña and their children. The family are rural peasant class and are barely making ends meet. The brothers' fortunes change when into their lives comes Batuta, a soccer scout. Despite their advancing ages, both Beto and Tato are naturally gifted at soccer, Beto as a goaltender and Tato as a striker. Playing professionally has always been Beto's dream, although Tato has other professional thoughts. Batuta eventually recruits both for different teams in Mexico City. Beto's and Tato's fortunes rise and fall, the falls based on things which hold more passion for the brothers--Tato loves fast women, specifically television spokesmodel Maya, but he loves singing even more. He would give up his soccer career for one in Mexican country singing, if only he was any good. Beto's passion is gambling. Although Beto is upfront and straightforward about most things, he would lie and cheat to hide his gambling problem and debts. They just need to keep these alternate passions in check to make their soccer lives lucrative ones. —Huggo
Funny but Cynical and Clichéd
"Rudo y Cursi" is about two brothers that are plucked from obscurity in a small village in Mexico to play professional soccer. One is a striker and the other is a goalie. But drop any notion that this story has much to do with the actual sport of soccer. It's much more about success and what this does to people. And even in that regard its fairly clichéd -- one brother gets a sexy girlfriend who makes him buy cars for her and the other brother gambles his money away. By the end of the story their money is gone and they aren't even any wiser. So what's the point? Rudo y Cursi is obscene and cynical, frantic, funny and somehow disturbing. Lots of loud music and quick cutting and jittery camera work. There are some great performances in it and the locations are outstanding. It captures the look, feel and smell of Mexico. But you walk out thinking the world is a rotten place and people are pretty horrible.
- May 10, 2009
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