Eventually, every blogger who watches good movies will end up having a post related to Gael Garcia Bernal. It is kind of a tribute you have to do. Either because you think he is hot, or because you think he is talented. He is both. Usually in the same film. In the Latin American Film Festival this year, I got to see his two new(ish) films; Tambien La Lluvia and Rudi y Cursi and decided he was more talented than hot in both of the movies. Especially watching them in the same day, I got to see how diverse his roles are and can be.
In Rudi y Cursi, Bernal’s character is a small town Mexican with big dreams of becoming a singer with no talent for singing whatsoever. The film depicts his story and his brothers, who are brought to Mexico city to play football in 1st and 2nd league teams, where both of them rise to stardom and get in trouble for their “side activities”. The film is funny, but not really a comedy. It is serious, but not really just a drama. It’s a little bit of both, with no happy ending, but also no sad ending. And a legacy of a so-bad-it-is-bad Mexican country version of “I want you to want me” (Cheap Tricks).
On the other hand, Tambien La Lluvia (Even The Rain in English) is a drama. The film is about a Spanish director, played by Bernal, and his crew who go to Bolivia to shoot a film about Columbus and his explorations (and his abuse of the Indians). The film crew finds itself in the middle of a conflict between the Bolivian actors portraying the Indians and the Bolivian government over the privatization of water supplies for unaffordable prices. The film subtly but still openly shows the parallel between the two stories.
I don’t recommend watching these two films on the same night, unless you really wish to have a Gael Garcia Bernal marathon, but I do recommend both movies.