Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna struck fireworks with their 2001 'Y tu mamá también' directed be their close associate Carlos Cuarón. Now once again the three men, along with important input from some of the finest talent in Mexico, join in a low key, warmly humorous, well acted and directed and produced RUDO y CURSI. There has been considerable publicity about the movement to raise the importance of Mexican films to the high standards of International films, largely due to the passion of García Bernal, Luna, Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu and Guillermo del Toro. The success of this movement is obvious in this very fine film - a tightly conceived story about the poor families in Mexico who long for the ability to climb the ladder to success in business, fame and comfort, and the Cinderella story recasting brothers played by García Bernal and Luna whose struggle for opportunity leads them into the bumpy relationship with a 'talent scout' (Batuta played with aplomb by the Argentinean actor Guillermo Francella) and to tenuous triumph because of their soccer talent and the inevitable temptations of success in the great Mexico City world.
García Bernal is Tato (to be nicknamed 'Cursi' by his teammates), a wannabe singer whose goal is to make it big in the world of entertainment, using Batuta as his means to get there. Luna is his brother Beto (to be nicknamed 'Rudo' - the alternate title of the film is 'ROUGH AND VULGAR' instead of 'RUDO y CURSI'!) who is married but longs to follow his brother into the fame of the Big League soccer. Each lad lands in Mexico City, each takes advantage of his given soccer talent and each succumbs to personal goals - Rudo to gambling and Cursi to women and singing in silly music videos. Batuto is always on the sidelines (and in the voice over narration) to follow each of brother's successes and failures. The manner in which the two brothers compete and come together creates a moving and tender story ending.
What makes this little film so special is the genuine qualities and ensemble acting that come from García Bernal and Luna but also form the actors portraying the impoverished but proud family of the two boys and the 'big town characters' they encounter in Mexico City. The film feels real and committed, mixing just the right amount of humor, fantasy, and tenderness - thanks to the excellent script by writer/director Carlos Cuarón. It is a pleasure to watch and a very fine statement about the quality of films coming from Mexico. Grady Harp, September 09
Two moronic, banana-slinging half-siblings (Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna) ascend from peasantry to football stardom by way of their formidable talent, though their auxiliary pursuits lead them to failure and ruination: goalkeeper Luna is an inveterate gambling addict, while striker Bernal falsely fancies himself a singer despite his complete dearth of talent. Writer/director Carlos Cuarón's association with Mexico's sexiest BFFs may not be so profound as his brother Alfonso's … more
Grady Harp is a champion of Representational Art in the roles of curator, lecturer, panelist, writer of art essays, poetry, critical reviews of literature, art and music, and as a gallerist. He has presented … more
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The charismatic young stars of Y Tu Mama Tambien bring dynamic life to a familiar tale of lives ruined by ambition and rivalry.Rudo y Cursi are the nicknames given to two brothers who rise from provincial obscurity to stardom in soccer (or, as it's known everywhere except the U.S., football). Cursi (Gael Garcia Bernal) takes his gift for sport for granted as he dreams of success as a singer, despite his modest talent. Rudo (Diego Luna) is ferocious in his dedication to being a goalie, but succumbs to the compulsive highs of gambling. The arc of their rise and fall is predictable, but Luna and Garcia Bernal bring such vibrant energy to their roles that the movie becomes richly involving; the rapport between the actors (who have been friends since childhood) makes their sibling rivalry potent. Narrating the movie is the devil in their ears, their manager Batuta (Argentinean actor Guillermo Francella). Batuta weaves in and out of the story, his wily charm and self-serving manipulation undermining what little hope the brothers have of lifting themselves back up. Batuta's rueful commentary, full of sometimes comic, sometimes barbed sports metaphors, also helps lift Rudo y Cursi beyond the cliches of a sports tragedy. Written and directed by Carlos Cuaron, who co-wrote Y Tu Mama Tambien.--Bret Fetzer