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The Motorcycle Diaries (Widescreen Edition) (2004)

Art House & International movie directed by Walter Salles

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Diarios de Motocicleta

  • Dec 22, 2008
Rarely is it easy to make the distinction between social history and cultural mythology. And to create a film to represent the lives of complex historical figures is a daunting task, yet Walter Salles has proven that he is more than capable of creating such a film. In The Motorcycle Diaries we are shown an approximation of the early life of Ernesto Guevara, the man who would eventually recognized worldwide as the revolutionary Che Guevara.

The story begins in Argentina where friends Ernesto Guevara (Gael García Bernal) and Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna) decide to take a motorcycle trip across South America. Both are studying to become doctors but are restless and wish to see more of their land, learn more of its history, people and culture. Their trek will take them on an amazing journey of over 8000 kilometers and will end in Venezuela at the Guajira Peninsula. Their route will take them through Buenos Aires, Patagonia, Chile, the Andes and into the Peruvian Amazon. They get off to a rough start, barely avoiding serious accidents and experiencing numerous mechanical problems. The motorcycle, a Norton 500 from 1939, is dilapidated and causes many difficulties. But their early misadventures are soon overshadowed by their realization that much of South America is divided, culturally and economically. Ernesto and Alberto witness the turmoil of their land and it changes them profoundly. While Alberto acknowledges the troubles of the people and sympathizes with them, Ernesto takes them to heart and understands the need for action. The faces of the downtrodden, the diseased and the impoverished haunt him. A new conviction is born within him, a new cause for his existence and he is given something to fight for. He craves revolution and the unity of Latin America.

Gael Garcia Bernal as Ernesto Guevara and Rodrigo de la Serna as Alberto Granado
The film gives a humanistic portrait of a man who has been idolized by young political radicals, respected by social reformers and admired by philosophers. But the man known as Che is more than just a symbol of revolution. He was above all a complicated man capable of sincerity, compassion and instituting great change. For those who are already familiar with his life, this film will deepen your understanding and appreciation of him. For those unfamiliar with Che, the film is a wonderful introduction to a fascinating man.

The film is driven by powerful performances from its two leading men, who enrich their characters with impetuosity, angst, empathy and humor. The music ingeniously captures the flavor of South American culture while imbuing the film with the angst of youthful rebellion. The Motorcycle Diaries is a film that should not be missed.
Poster On the Road Diarios de Motocicleta Che and Alberto The real Che

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September 27, 2009
why haven't I seen this yet? I dunno, because I can be an idiot at times...LOL
September 28, 2009
Maybe you just weren't in the mood to watch two sweaty guys ride together across South America on a motorcycle... or perhaps it's the politics... or maybe you are an idiot at times! Just kidding. LOL! It also could be that it didn't show at your theatre. It didn't at ours. We rarely ever get foreign films, much less leftist foreign films.
September 29, 2009
everybody plays the fool...there's no exception to the rule! LOL
September 30, 2009
Would you like to have a rhyming duel? ; )
More The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) reviews
review by . February 22, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
I was able to watch "The Motorcycle Diaries" today and Walter Salles is no ordinary director. I am pleased to see that he convincingly managed to overcome geographical barriers, to accomplish a high standard of film making. The cinematography is truly gorgeous, and reminded me how little of the South American landscape we ever see on film in the U.S. The cinematographer has pulled off a major feat in shooting a period film in slightly grainy, sometimes shaky hand-held. No crane shots or sepia tinting …
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The beauty of the South American landscape and of Gael Garcia Bernal (Y Tu Mama Tambien,Bad Education) givesThe Motorcycle Diariesa charisma that is decidedly apolitical. But this portrait of the young Che Guevara (later to become a militant revolutionary) is half buddy-movie, half social commentary--and while that may seem an unholy hybrid, under the guidance of Brazillian director Walter Salles (Central Station) the movie is quietly passionate. Guevara and his friend Alberto Granado (Rodrigo de la Serna, a lusty and engaging actor) set off from Buenos Aires, hoping to circumnavigate the continent on a leaky motorcycle. They end up travelling more by foot, hitchhiking, and raft, but their experience of the land and the people affects them profoundly. No movie could affect an audience the same way, butThe Motorcycle Diariesgives a soulful glimpse of an awakening social conscience, and that's worth experiencing.--Bret Fetzer
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Director: Walter Salles
Screen Writer: Jose Rivera, Alberto Granado
DVD Release Date: February 15, 2005
Runtime: 126 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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