Salles' exhilaratingly relaxed re-creation of the epic voyage that young medical student Ernesto Guevara (Bernal) took around South America in 1952 together with the biochemist Alberto Granado (de la Serna) is both a light-touched examination of the kind of experiences that began turning the former into 'Che', and - thanks to the way the film crew welcomed the locals they encountered into the movie itself - a subtle reminder that the social and political problems facing Latin Americans back then are far from resolved. Often improvising along with his able and extremely charismatic actors, Salles concentrates on character and milieu rather than plot or 'message', so that even the duo's life-changing stay in an Amazonian leper colony is mercifully bereft of rhetoric and melodrama. Gautier's camera is adept at catching the telling glance or gesture, while Gustavo Santaolalla's music contributes to the overall freshness of the approach. Very fine indeed. (Based on The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara and With Che Through Latin America by Alberto Granado.