Che: Part Two (15)

Film

War films

che2.jpg

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Feb 17 2009

Last month we suggested that you should try to watch as one four-hour behemoth Steven Soderbergh’s two-part essay on the vagaries of violent, class-based struggle as seen through the eyes of Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara. While there’s a richness to be gleaned from experiencing both parts back-to-back, these films function perfectly well as separate entities. Once attuned to the fact that Soderbergh has little interest in presenting Che (a remarkable, hubris-free performance from Benicio del Toro) as a benevolent folk hero or framing his struggle within the crowd-pleasing strictures of a ten-a-penny Hollywood biopic, the film becomes much more digestible, enjoyable, and even educational.

The second part documents Che’s failed 1966 attempt to ‘free’ Bolivia and there are some beautiful moments where Soderbergh pulls back from the action to show Che as a man hungry – almost, as the ending hints, to the detriment of his mental health – to right the world’s ills. If there’s a problem, it’s that the film at times feels too academic, and nods to the source material (Che’s ‘The Bolivian Diary’) or insights into the mechanics of revolution come at the expense of a more fluid, involving drama. But saying that a film has too much insight is hardly damning.
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Release details

Rated:

15

UK release:

Fri Feb 20, 2009

Duration:

128 mins

Users say

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.3 / 5

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LiveReviews|8
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Sutton

A hugely disappointing way to spend two hours watching Del Toro splutter his way round the countryside. I think the two (average) films could have been edited into one good movie. Nothing much happens in Che 2, save your time and money and see the Motorcycle Diaries.

The true argie

Very, very, very poor acting. Verging on the comedic. If you come from Latin America, you quickly realize the accents are ridiculous (think of an Australian accent in a Scottish hero kind of ridiculousness.). The Che is portrayed as some sort of guerrilla Gandhi, which is neither interesting nor accurate. The guy that portraits Fidel must have learn to speak Spanish the day before the shooting started, and to act one day before that. If you don’t care for pace, photography, acting, historical accuracy and general quality, but you are prone to wear items of clothing with the Che icon on them, then this is the movie for you.

maryse

What a waste of time. Kept waiting for stuff to happen, only for Che to get captured and killed! Very dry... can someone tell me how 2 hours of being chased through the jungle is actually engaging? Sorry could have been a bit more frugal with film 1 and sandwiched the (few) good bits from film 2 into one longer film!

uk

thanks john mate i have corrected the name in my final version for the collective revue -i adored this and i waited to write this till oscar night itself just an oversight or out of sight eror as soderbergh would say did u like the movie mate i havent come across you before on timeout its always my best mate perfect day who stalks me to my delight regards to you i think everyone who loves cinema must watch this irrespective of their ideology but it is a subjective opinion only lolz it seems like a monumental flop commercially

uk

thanks john mate i have corrected the name in my final version for the collective revue -i adored this and i waited to write this till oscar night itself just an oversight or out of sight eror as soderbergh would say did u like the movie mate i havent come across you before on timeout its always my best mate perfect day who stalks me to my delight regards to you i think everyone who loves cinema must watch this irrespective of their ideology but it is a subjective opinion only lolz it seems like a monumental flop commercially

usman khawaja

the cold reality of an inspired martyrdom -che2 sonderbergh is in a different mood in part 2 with a bearded toro who turns controversial as he mysteriously disappears from cuba in 1965 after brooding a family of five with aulia his wife . we see him arrive incognito in la paz ,bolivia and he explains his reasons for wanting to spread the revolution through central america in a country where half the miners are child labour and of those majority are dead by the age thirty and when they ask for better wages they are massacred . there is no better reason for a revolution and you can hardly argue with that point of view, but bolivia is harsh and different as here religion is used by the regime as a card against the communist guerrillas and the peasants are deceived into betraying their very saviours as godless traitors to christianity . this is very dark ,both with the muted light and colour and the cinematography is in a different frame as well with hand held camera shots of ravine crossings ,betrayals with planned massacres and dearth of food and medication . it seems like the team know they are doomed but are too committed to turn back and the few reluctant mates have no choice to opt out as the noose tightens around them in a rugged natural harsh hinterland . the peasants behave much differently from the cuban populace and it seems bolivians then were not ready for the vision of che though the man was obsessed with the ideals of free and just society for them which to them was too much of a dream to fantasize . the mood becomes more desperate as the numbers of guerrillas dwindles and the americans get in the picture training local militia who are aware che is heading the uprising . the cold and pathetic behaviour of the natives is well depicted and the deceptions documented in a very unsentimental manner ,there are some definitive moments here where pessimism grabs hold of the camera as well as the characters in a pathos which is equal to a greek tragedy except we are in a bolivian forest rather then a studio stage where the ambiance almost oozes and drips off the characters onto the audience . this is simple genius and sonderberg has staged this with a detached emotion which makes it a reality show rather ten a fake historical enactment . the logistics of shooting this and the shoot must have been phenomenal as i think the suffering the revolutionaries went through is reflected onto the celluloid in a unique manner . but it also gives them a nobility where they are levitated above rest of humanity particularly as we can proclaim without a whimper of doubt that che was acting out of his true belief for improving the state of an ailing humanity and that makes him a pure soul in itself and a redeemed spirit . the end result is of no consequence as you see that both bolivia and venezuela have native democratic leaders today and are regarded as the harshest critics of a state that stands for capitalism . that this capitalism is responsible for the poverty of the third world itself by getting the mass poor population to boost the capitalistic economy is what che was fighting against and sonderbergh and del toro have translated that sacred vision to screen in a manner which defies any applause or appraisal as it is a life time achievement .

usman khawaja

the cold reality of an inspired martyrdom -che2 sonderbergh is in a different mood in part 2 with a bearded toro who turns controversial as he mysteriously disappears from cuba in 1965 after brooding a family of five with aulia his wife . we see him arrive incognito in la paz ,bolivia and he explains his reasons for wanting to spread the revolution through central america in a country where half the miners are child labour and of those majority are dead by the age thirty and when they ask for better wages they are massacred . there is no better reason for a revolution and you can hardly argue with that point of view, but bolivia is harsh and different as here religion is used by the regime as a card against the communist guerrillas and the peasants are deceived into betraying their very saviours as godless traitors to christianity . this is very dark ,both with the muted light and colour and the cinematography is in a different frame as well with hand held camera shots of ravine crossings ,betrayals with planned massacres and dearth of food and medication . it seems like the team know they are doomed but are too committed to turn back and the few reluctant mates have no choice to opt out as the noose tightens around them in a rugged natural harsh hinterland . the peasants behave much differently from the cuban populace and it seems bolivians then were not ready for the vision of che though the man was obsessed with the ideals of free and just society for them which to them was too much of a dream to fantasize . the mood becomes more desperate as the numbers of guerrillas dwindles and the americans get in the picture training local militia who are aware che is heading the uprising . the cold and pathetic behaviour of the natives is well depicted and the deceptions documented in a very unsentimental manner ,there are some definitive moments here where pessimism grabs hold of the camera as well as the characters in a pathos which is equal to a greek tragedy except we are in a bolivian forest rather then a studio stage where the ambiance almost oozes and drips off the characters onto the audience . this is simple genius and sonderberg has staged this with a detached emotion which makes it a reality show rather ten a fake historical enactment . the logistics of shooting this and the shoot must have been phenomenal as i think the suffering the revolutionaries went through is reflected onto the celluloid in a unique manner . but it also gives them a nobility where they are levitated above rest of humanity particularly as we can proclaim without a whimper of doubt that che was acting out of his true belief for improving the state of an ailing humanity and that makes him a pure soul in itself and a redeemed spirit . the end result is of no consequence as you see that both bolivia and venezuela have native democratic leaders today and are regarded as the harshest critics of a state that stands for capitalism . that this capitalism is responsible for the poverty of the third world itself by getting the mass poor population to boost the capitalistic economy is what che was fighting against and sonderbergh and del toro have translated that sacred vision to screen in a manner which defies any applause or appraisal as it is a life time achievement .

Paul

Mostly set in and around forests so see it as Guerillas In The Mist Part 2 with most of them ending up stuffed onto sticks again. Educational rather than entertaining so expect a Radio 4 crowd with more dandruff than popcorn. I preferred The Motorcycle Diaries and a funky Che poster, but am glad I saw the film.