Rudo y Cursi
Starring Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna
Directed by Carlos Cuaron
Rated R for pervasive language, sexual content and brief drug use
Appropriate for ages 17+
Spanish language with English subtitles
Two very competitive brothers working as banana farmers in rural Mexico get the opportunity of a lifetime when a Soccer talent scout discovers their skills and signs them up for the pros. Tato (Bernal) is an excellent offensive player that gains a reputation for being an aggressive scorer. Beto (Luna), on the other hand, is a goalie with a shut-out record on an opposing team. When it comes time to face off against each other, they must decide which is most important: family or football career.
In 2001, an independent film named Y Tu Mama Tambien put Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, director Alfonso Cuaron and writer Carlos Cuaron on the map. Everyone involved in that film went on to much bigger and better things. Bernal and Luna have went on to star in many big-budget American and international films. Alfonso went on to direct Harry Potter 3 and Children of Men. So no doubt it’s a big deal for the Latin world that the team was brought together again for another little independent film.
I’d like to say that this new film is as good as their last outing, but with expectations high, results came in low. It most certainly is not a bad film though. The acting is as good as can be expected and the deliveries bring many laughs and cringes at the appropriate moments. With the part of the story that is most important – sibling rivalry – the script and directing are very good. Where the writing and directing fail is almost everywhere else. The relationships of the lead characters to the outside world are awkward at best. The extras are poorly directed throughout and the pacing is off in way too many scenes. The film almost feels undone or at least unorganized. Also, I find it very funny that there is absolutely no sports action in this sports film. Still, there is a strong chemistry between Bernal and Luna that makes the film at least a little entertaining. C+