Sunday, 18 March 2012

Rudo y Cursi Review

The one thing you really have to keep reminding yourself of while watching this film is that it is not American or even Canadian or British.  It is Mexican and, because of that, there are going to be some things in the film that don't really make a whole lot of sense to an American or Canadian viewer.  If it had been an artsy or dramatic piece, then that gap would have been quite a bit narrower.  However, this is very much a comedy.  And while I'm sure there were things that were supposed to be funny but went over my head, I still found that it was an entertaining and very funny movie.  Some of that, though, could be due to me finding things funny that were not intended to be so.  It's the danger of a cultural difference like that.  I'm going to find some of those differences to be comical.  Add to this that the subtitling seemed to be done by someone from the East End of London and it seemed even more humourous.  Somehow watching a Mexican comedy where the translation of Spanish ends up being words like "wanker" and "mate" just makes it more comical.

The story is a pretty basic one.  Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna play brothers who are very competitive and get discovered as soccer "diamonds in the rough."  They make their way to Mexico City and each make it big.  But they are distracted by different things (a singing career/playboy lifestyle and gambling) and things go awry.  It's the age old "rags to riches and back to rags but I learned a lesson" story.  It is very predictable.  So it's a good thing that they made it a comedy.  You are distracted by the humour and don't get bored because you really know what is going to happen. But they also keep enough of the dark side of the story (Rudo's downward gambling spiral) in it to keep you from getting tired of the brothers calling each other an "asshole."

Being a non-English language film, it is hard to tell if the line delivery was convincing or not.  But I will say that the body language of all of the actors throughout was very convincing.  The body language and look of Diego Luna was especially good.  He is very convincing as a small village guy who is thrust into a big time life and has a difficult time adjusting and leaving his old ways and habits behind.  The same holds true for Bernal.  While he wasn't as convincing as Luna, he was still very strong as a small village guy who gets swept up into fame and fortune and the playboy lifestyle.

Because it's a sports movie, I do have to say something about how the sport is represented on screen.  While they didn't dwell too much on it, I thought they did a fantastic job when they did have to show soccer on the screen.  The final game is especially good.  They focused on the crowd and home viewers a lot without losing too much of the game itself.  In fact, the way they filmed the crowd and had the announcer dialogue really brought out the tension and excitement that can come from a soccer game anywhere in the world.  I felt that they took the brothers' competitive nature and magnified it in that climactic scene.

If you like sports movies, see it.  If you don't like sports movies, still see it.  It doesn't dwell on the sport like Goal but it has enough of a balance to keep everyone interested.

1 comment:

  1. I remember a couple years ago when I first read about this movie they commented that such a great job had been done of not making it a soccer movie, and how the focus was entirely on the brothers and not on the game. Having seen it now, I agree.