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 international hit, but it's actually more engaging: despite their idiocy, it's easy to laugh at and cry for two hopeless jocks who haven't the first notion of how to conduct themselves whilst awash with fame and fortune.
As usual, Bernal and Luna are in top form as the asinine footballers, as is Guillermo Francella as their suave, sympathetic, long-suffering manager, who narrates their tale with a poetic wisdom. In fact, not a single poor performance is to be seen here. Further, Adam Kimmel's photography - especially that of landscapes - emphasizes the natural beauty of Mexico's unspoiled locales.
Just as the quick rise and precipitous fall of these simpletons reflect the breakneck development of Mexican society as it's emerged into meretricious modernity over the scant course of a half-century, so do the politics of their sport mirror its culture's many perils. Neither brother is proven any wiser after suffering for his foibles, and that much bespeaks a universal condition. Carlos may not aspire to his brother's filmmaking fame, but he's proven again that both owe their successes in part to his fabulist's talent.
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 … more
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