This week’s movie is no longer in theaters, but in the spirit of the upcoming
4th of July holiday, I chose to review “The Motorcycle Diaries.”
For those of you who haven’t seen this foreign flic, it’s based on a book by Che Guevara. (the Marxist whose mug you see on people’s red t-shirts around campus).
It follows a young Che, known as Ernesto or “Fuser,” and his pal Alberto
Granado as they travel from Buenos Aires to Venezuela to work at a Leper colony.
Named for their mode of transportation, a barely together beast of a bike Alberto affectionately calls “The Mighty One,” the pair encounter your run of the mill obstacles as vagabonds.
Ernesto is an Asthmatic whose tactless style breeds both respect and ill will from everyone he meets while Alberto has a healthy appetite for the ladies that provides some comic relief.
Each of them has different goals for themselves on the trip, but neither of
them planned to be affected by the poverty they come across.
Though the Spanish subtitles can be a bit taxing after an hour (it’s a two hour movie), whether you know your tildes from your inverted exclamation points or not, it’s worth the extra effort of reading the dialogue.
With a plethora of expletives that would satisfy even the annoying blonde stewardess from that gum commercial, the camaraderie between the two, which is reminiscent of Sesame Street’s Burt and Ernie, circumvents the language barrier.
While you don’t know that Che is indeed the Marxist that helped seize Cuba with our boy Castro until the end of the movie, the emotion with which his character, played by Gael
Garcia Bernal, approaches the injustices of his world make him the hero of the film, political beliefs aside.
Not to mention that he’s easy on the eyes and speaks my favorite romantic language.
In el fin, Motorcycle Diaries is my pick for contemporary foreign films. If being a winner at Sundance isn’t enough to move you to your local Blockbuster, take my word for it;
Spanish guys are hot.
Staff writer Marissa Hutton-Gavel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.