Saturday, September 19, 2009

Under 250: Rudo y Cursi

Leaving the terrain of Y Tu Mama Tambien behind, Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna team up once again for cartoonish buddy flick Rudo y Cursi. Directed by Alfonso’s brother Carlos, Bernal and Luna play Tato and Beto, half-brothers trapped in a dead end life of poverty on a banana plantation. When a talent scout’s (Guillermo Francella) car breaks down in town, Tato sees a chance at launching the music career he’s always dreamed of. Fate sees otherwise, and soon Tato and Beto are on a rags-to-riches trip off the plantation and onto national soccer teams. It’s a familiar tale of quick starts, greed, and excess played for quirky laughs and situation-comedy spikes of over-the-top dramatic occurrences. While not particularly unique or especially memorable, the shift in setting and situation (down south from Hollywood) makes the film charming if not ever so slightly heartbreaking. There’s a steady undercurrent of repercussions and real danger that eats away the shallow surface to reveal just enough to make this film pop. Bernal and Luna make the most of it, with the former lending a high-energy exuberance and the latter adding temperamental gravitas. While certainly not the best Mexican export in recent memory, Rudo y Cursi is an accessible film and worth a look, if only to hear Bernal’s off-key performance of “I Want You To Want Me”.

3.5 out of 5.

Dir. Carlos CuarĂ³n, Stars: Diego Luna, Gael Garcia Bernal, Guillermo Francella, Dolores Heredia. Rated R, Running Time: 103 min.

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