The Violin (El Violin) (2007)
Critic Consensus: Vargas makes a strong debut with The Violin, which features crisp photography, a poetic screenplay, and a breakthrough performance by Tavira.
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as Don Plutarco Hidalgo
as The Captain
as The Lieutenant
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Critic Reviews for The Violin (El Violin)
The film from first-timer Francisco Vargas puts a human face on universal suffering. It is also about the power of music, as the title instrument saves (for a while anyway) three generations of peasant men in their roles as guerrilla fighters.
Life-or-death matters are handled with compelling gravity.
A message this political has rarely been delivered in so poetic a form.
A slightly meandering build-up is saved by a second half that really cooks, with Vargas ratcheting up the tension by flirting with genre convention in order to deal with Plutarco's unconventional psychological stand-off with a malodorous Captain.
Shot in a silvery black and white that lends a photojournalistic effect, this is not an easy film to sit through. But it will be a tough one to forget if you do.
Audience Reviews for The Violin (El Violin)
(****): [img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img] Well-acted, written, and directed. A film that you will not easily forget.
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Violin," Plutarco(Angel Tavira), his son Genaro(Gerardo Taracena), and his son Lucio(Mario Garibaldi) are a trio of troubadours traveling the country attempting to simultaneously supplant their meager income working the land and fund a revolution. For those keeping track, it is Plutarco on violin, Genaro on guitar and Lucio working the tip cup. On the return to their village, the men find a new round of fleeing in progress as the army is on the way. Gerardo runs off, fearing for the safety of his wife and worrying about something he may have left behind...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"The Violin" is a cliched movie with little context, replete with two-dimensional characters populating the landscape. It is a shame because there are some particularly good ideas that are just never developed that well, especially the relationship between Plutarco and the army captain(Dagoberto Gama). It is a nice touch that Plutarco creatively explains the peasants' struggle to his grandson as a fable but the villains of the tale turn out to be the ambitious.(Something lost in translation?) For the record, not all ambitious people are bad. What if you want to be the first person to walk on Mars? No harm in that. Or is that the peasants are good just because they are humble, a stereotype if ever there was one?[/font]
If the compelling story and the heartbreaking lead performance aren't enough reasons to see it, the photography alone, then, should be enough.
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