Che: Part One (The Argentine) (2009)
Critic Consensus: Though lengthy and at times plodding, Soderbergh's vision and Benicio Del Toro's understated performance ensure that Che always fascinates.
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as Ernesto Che Guevara
as Raul Castro
as Aleida March
as President René Barrientos
as Mario Monje
as Camillo Cienfuegos
as Ciro Redondo
as Rogelio Acevedo
as Little Cowboy
as Alejandro Ramirez
as Moises Guevara
as Ciro Algaranaz
as Fidel Castro
as Regis Debray
as Capt. Vargas
as Lisa Howard
as Ciros Bustos
as Celia Sanchez
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Critic Reviews for Che: Part One (The Argentine)
Soderbergh has made two almost perfect war films, more like the Rings Trilogy than The Green Berets.
There is precious little in these movies to fill out our understanding of what it was that made Che a rebel, a leader of men, and the repository of the romantic dreams of several generations of armchair revolutionaries
A potentially great title-role performance by Benicio Del Toro, which won him the best actor award at Cannes, is buried beneath Soderbergh's stylistic tics and a defiant lack of dramatic tension.
In releasing this reverent, meticulous, fascinating but flaccid history in two lengthy parts, Soderbergh committed perhaps the greatest sin of all. He made Che boring.
Audience Reviews for Che: Part One (The Argentine)
Soderbergh's political biography about Che Guevara and his involvement in the Cuban Revolution is expertly directed and even feels like a documentary, but is also frustrating as it shows him as a nearly flawless hero and avoids any of the controversies surrounding his character.
A sprawling, epic look at the life of Che Guevara through the lense of Steven Soderbergh. Del Toro is brilliant in the lead.
I should have hated this film. I feel like the legend of Che has become so distorted & romanticized, that whatever your cause, you can invoke the name of Che to further it. On top of this, every college student with access to a Hot Topic has donned a shirt with the figure's face on it, without the benefit of knowing the context of the original movement. The last thing I needed was further ambiguity. However, Soderbergh's film seems to revel in this ambiguity. Che was a zealous ideologue, ardent supporter of justice (no matter how perverse his idea of justice became), and a romantic. I feel as though Soderbergh captures this very well and made really the only film you could make about such an enigmatic figure. One devoid of understanding. Were Soderbergh to take a stance and really dive into what drove Che, he would be making a judgement. Whether he would decide that Che's pursuits were righteous, or a parade a violence driven by delusion, Soderbergh would have to judge his character. And how do you do that when he means so many things to so many different types of people? I think by abandoning the conventional narrative, and showing vignettes of his life rather than presenting it chronologically, Soderbergh continues to let the audience decide. Sure, I understand the criticism that by not showing Che commit the violent acts himself in a way absolves him of the crimes & creates in essence, a fairly tale. Yet, I think Che's pursuits were of a very macabre fairy tale. Will I be watching this film every weekend? No way. Do I think Soderbergh could have tightened up the film overall and cut some of the fat? Absolutely. None the less, I think Soderbergh made the only film that could be made about this infamous revolutionary. It's terrifically filmed, impeccably acted, & I think Soderbergh deserves a lot of credit for bringing this controversial life to the big screen.
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