HOME |  JOIN |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Assassin
Die, Mommie, Die!
All the Money in the World
Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, The
Black Panther
Children's Hour, The
Mayhem
Sphere
Guyver, The
Night School
Loveless
Ragtime
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Murders in the Rue Morgue
Wound, The
Scalawag
Let's Get Harry
Girl with Green Eyes
Sunchaser, The
Tom Jones
Downsizing
Defiant Ones, The
Centerfold Girls, The
Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner, The
120 BPM (Beats Per Minute)
Police Academy 3: Back in Training
Safe Place, A
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
Cargo
Entertainer, The
   
 
Newest Articles
A Yen for the 1990s: Iron Monkey and Satan Returns
Hey, Punk: Jubilee and Rock 'n' Roll High School
Help! with The Knack: Richard Lester in 1965
Roll Up, Get Yer Free Cinema: The Shorts on the BFI Woodfall Blu-rays
Time for Heroes: The Dam Busters and How I Won the War
Hell is a City: Midnight Cowboy and Taxi Driver
Boris Goes Bonkers, Bela Goes Bats: The Old Dark House and Mark of the Vampire
Charles Bronson's Mid-70s: Breakheart Pass and Others
Kids in America: The Breakfast Club vs Metropolitan
80s Dance-Off: Staying Alive vs Murder-Rock vs Breakin'
The Cinematic Darkside of Donald Crowhurst
Dutch Courage: The Flodder Series
Coming of Age: Boys on Film 18 - Heroes on DVD
Country and Irish - The secret history of Irish pop culture
Wash All This Scum Off the Streets: Vigilante Movies
   
 
  Neruda Write Your Way Out Of ThisBuy this film here.
Year: 2016
Director: Pablo Larraín
Stars: Gael García Bernal, Luis Gnecco, Mercedes Morán, Emilio Guttiérrez Caba, Diego Muñoz, Alejandro Goic, Pablo Derqui, Marcelo Alonso, Michael Silva, Francisco Reves, Jaime Vadell, Néstor Cantillana, Alfredo Castro, Marcial Tagle, Amparo Noguera
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Biopic
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) is one of the most famous poets in the world, but has found himself in hot water after making derogatory comments about the President of his home nation Chile, not respecting him in the slightest. Compounding the issue is that Neruda declared himself a Communist some time before, and the new government does not only disagree with this in immediately post-war South America, but has sought to outlaw such thinking with a crackdown that has seen many citizens imprisoned or even executed for not agreeing with the politics of the authorities. Now he has to go underground while remaining a high-profile celebrity - a tricky situation no matter which way you cut it.

Neruda was one of director Pablo Larraín's historical, twenty-first century-set films which were rapidly becoming what he was best known for in cinema, though this was overshadowed internationally by his first English language effort Jackie which was released within months of it. That was an examination of what the First Lady goes through when the President is assassinated, and though there was some postulation it stuck to the essential truth of the account, yet here the script from Guillermo Calderón, making his second film with Larraín after The Club, played around with the facts of the poet's troubles with his government and subsequent flight from the country, to the extent of inventing a whole new person.

He was played by the man first-billed, Gael García Bernal, as the police detective Oscar Peluchonneau who represented the forces who would seek to suppress Neruda, yet in an item of trickery not only never existed, but as the story wore on he came to realise he was a fictional character who may well have been invented by the poet to make him look more of a romantic fugitive. Others seem to be aware of the cop's false status too, and we note he never seems to successfully arrest, never mind convict, any of those he is after, not only his main quarry but also the men and women who have been supporting him in his escape. Thus you began to wonder if this was a movie about Pablo Neruda at all, or simply a subterfuge.

To what end, however? This was more a meditation on the actual artist's dilemma than it was a faithful rendering of what he went through when the authorities were out for his blood, so we had the characters pondering the exact nature of hunter versus hunted, concluding that to pursue someone with such dedication was more important for the hunter, their obsession being more like a one-sided love affair where the pursuer would pore over every detail of the life of the pursued, in a curious way strung along by the person who has taken up so much of their life. Indeed, Oscar spends every waking moment thinking about his supposed enemy, much like a teenager in the first flush of romance, except we know his obsession will never be sated since there is no chance it will be reciprocated in kind.

As far as the plot went, it was purely an excuse to throw up these philosophical and social comments and leave them for the audience to mull over as they appreciated Larraín's way with an attractive image, or at least a striking one. Neruda is no saint, and with Oscar narrating we are offered the differing perspective from what in other hands would have been hagiography, plus such scenes as the one where one of his fans, a poor woman more likely to be called a peasant than the bourgeois poet, confronts him in a manner both respectful and accusatory about what kind of better world this notion of equality will bring - equality on whose terms, basically. As the chase moves to the south of Chile and those mountain ranges, the film turned into a Western, not exactly Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid but with comparable imagery, while we were left to muse about how correct Oscar could have been in his assessments, from the start of the film to the end. Rich with themes, this looked handsome, was an entertaining thriller of sorts, yet the feeling of being messed about lingered. Music by Federico Jusid.

[Network's DVD does justice to the film's sumptuous appearance, and has an interview with Larraín and Bernal as an extra.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 417 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which film has the best theme song?
Spectre
The Ups and Downs of a Handyman
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Graeme Clark
Paul Smith
  Jamie Nichols
Andrew Pragasam
George White
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
   

 

Last Updated: