A fascinating glimpse of Nobel prize laureate Neruda, one of South America’s most important cultural figures of the 20th century. This film is a brilliant reconstruction of the events that led to his exile from Chile and perfectly blends intimate detail of his private life with the tapestry of a tumultuous political backdrop. It also creates a beautiful and playful cat and mouse chase by his very own Nemesis.
More caricaturesque than sober, less noir than hide and seek, Larraín's Neruda does no go places but simply entertains a vision that is more entertaining than biographical. The poet's lyricism feels at odds with the lightness of the play and the confusing journey ends without offering much resolution.
Unusual, arch meta-noir-biopic that comes across as televisual and stagey. it became a tad too knowing and stylized (so much lens flare), dropping into soap opera farce at times. All these aesthetic considerations detract from any sense of character building, which makes it all rather thin and lacking in drive, but saves it from the usual tropes of fawning deification of its subject.
It's another good film from Pablo Larrain, if not up there with his very best. The script is decent, the lead performances are very good, and the whole thing feels like a very brief look in on the life of the main character, as opposed to a detailed overview of all of his achievements.
A poetic, metaphysical film noire. Probably the best biopic of any author I've seen but goes way beyond a portrayal of an author and his work. It speaks of a country going through turmoil and gives voice to it's people via the policeman charged with capturing a man he comes to admire and who is given a voice by Neruda. Beautiful acting, immaculate camerawork and direction. A masterpiece of filmmaking.
An apt and not entirely uncritical telling of Neruda's flight into exile with elements of a slightly hackneyed magical realism. The movie's faults however are ultimately what save it from mediocrity; it is a bit heavyhanded and a bit pretentious and a bit too heartfelt and therefore impressively true to its namesake.
It's not just about Neruda. It's a biography of a country that was raped, violated, experimented on by the Yankees (the first Neoliberal "experiment"). Augusto Pinochet, the invisible "protagonist" of Larrain's masterpiece Post Mortem, appears here briefly in an uncanny cameo. He is in charge of a concentration camp for Communists. He will soon turn the entire country into a concentration camp. God bless America.
Larrain is a consummate stylist, and then he keeps going. At once I am both moved and appalled by his technique, the beautiful image rendered in a hurdy gurdy. But it also suits the literary ends on display, a construct of national myth, a biopic with a poet's embellishment. It's still Larrain though so Chile's hero film is as much about the villain, in its way about how both necessitate the other & national identity
Bel exercice de style, lyrique, excentrique et littéraire, servi par un formidable acteur - Luis Gnecco -, une magnifique photographie... qui dresse du poète et de sa traque un récit légendaire. plus poétique que politique. Décalé, à la hauteur de Neruda, assurément.
2.5 stars. Clearly a finely made film, but the combination of elliptical editing, interposed narration and very wide-angle photography made me feel queasy in the same way that handheld shaky-cam seems to make others feel. Sort of like if 'Adaptation' were a meditation on national identity. Perversely Borgesian considering political antipathy. I liked that it seemed to mine pathos for bathos. A curious, loping thing.