October 27, 2004

The Landscape, the Idealism & Gael

That's the order and the elements from the Motorcycle Diaries which Cinecultist liked the best, if compelled to pick three and rate them. Such lush vistas, a moving story and did we mention that Gael García Bernal is yummy? Well, he is. However! The Motorcycle Diaries is more than just the sum of its pleasant parts, Cinecultist might call it one of our favorite films of the year. The sweep and the resonance linger longer with one than just the mere beefcake factor.

Gael plays Ernesto Guervara de la Serna, a young medical student who takes off on a grand tour around South America with his buddy, Alberto, on the back of their motorcycle, a dilapidated but beloved hunk of junk. Intending to backpack around getting by on their ability to bullshit the locals and a few formal introductions in scattered cities, the trip becomes a consciousness altering experience for the two young men, in particular Ernesto, the film implies, who later becomes known as "Che." While the movie doesn't set out to be a biographical sketch of the full life of Che, or really try to connect the dots between this experience and what comes later in his brief life, it does allude to a compelling, developing character. Rather than doing a tidy cause and effect storyline, the Motorcycle Diaries strives to be more.

Leave it then to CC and her estimable viewing companion, the Real Janelle to discard any conversation on aesthetics or the making of a Great Man, and to sink to the lowest common denominator, aka drooling on Gael. Here's a sampling of a recent IM conversation after seeing the movie together:

cc: Hey, I'm working on a posting on Motorcycle Diaries. Any words from the Real Janelle to the Cinecultist kids on that flick?

trj: No, not really. I thought it was good. Mostly just couldn't stop thinking about Gael. So handsome.

cc: Yes, he's swoon-worthy.

trj: But I kept thinking about how he's petite. You can kind of tell. I never noticed before. b/c he's so hott.

cc: I've heard good things come in small packages.*smirk* Though, when I saw him on the street near my house (!), he did seem to be on the shorter side. [Ed Note: 5' 6," according to Imdb.]

trj: Well my rule is, greater than or equal to. He's got a little leeway. Er, a lot.

cc: But maybe not when you wear your Otto Tootsi Plohound heels.

trj: Haha. Well, when you're, um, horizontal you might not notice. [insert maniacal IM laughing] Hahahahahah.

All senseless objectifying aside, the film is filled with lovely moments of poetic beauty and grace. Playing soccer with the lepers, first glimpsing Manchu Pichu, or even every time that crazy motorcycle wipes on on a gravel road sending the riders to the edges in a heap, CC felt like we were there. And if we had been, we'd have written all of you a postcard saying "Wish You Were Here."

Posted by karen at October 27, 2004 10:59 PM