Saturday, March 04, 2006

Film Review: The Motorcycle Diaries

A student lent The Motorcycle Diaries to me, and I'm glad he did. The basic premise/plotline is simple: two South American twenty-somethings decide to take a five month roadtrip before they are too old to do it anymore. As you can hopefully guess, however, the adventures become much more than this.

The main thing that stuck out to me is the simple beauty of the film. Director Walter Salles was very effectively able to show the natural elegance of the continent, while still making a poignant statement as to the very poor living conditions of many of the inhabitants. In an era when more money equals more spectacle, this movie puts them all to shame.

Another interesting--almost phantom in the film--is Ernesto Guevara de la Serna's gradual awakening to the injustices around him (as he eventually will become "Che" Guevara). It's a very organic, authentic transformation. I bought it.

I kept thinking of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, for those of you who've read it. And there are a number of similarities between the two, but they are rather different on the whole.

Of course, as only true art can do, I was spurred to do a few hours of research on Guevara and South America, which was quite interesting.

Highly recommended.

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1 comment:

Cosmo said...

I love that movie! One of my favorites from the last few months.

I don't know what I did before netflix...