Muddled biopic of lowlife Latino actor/writer Miguel Piñero - a drug addict, petty thief and vagrant who left a trail of chaos in his wake, but won awards for his plays in the early '70s, and is now seen as one of the precursors of rap. To write good, I've got to live bad, Piñero states, summing up the drama in a nutshell. Writer/director Ichaso can't help romanticising his subject, but whatever gloss he puts on Piñero's story, the man still comes across as a monster. Flashily but irritatingly shot, full of unmotivated switches from colour to b/w, sudden flashbacks, mannered slow mo and jump cuts, this is hardly a subtle evocation of its subject's life. Its trump card is Bratt who brings a febrile intensity to his role as the gutter poet, rekindling memories of the equally dynamic Al Pacino in his '70s heyday in Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon.
Cast and crew
Benjamin Bratt Giancarlo Esposito Talisa Soto Nelson Vasquez Michael Irby Rita Moreno Mandy Patinkin