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The Motorcycle Diaries (Diarios de motocicleta) (2004)

  Directed by: Walter Salles
Written by: Alberto Granado, Ché Guevara, Jose Rivera
Starring: Rodrigo De la Serna, Gael García Bernal
Links: The Motorcycle Diaries on the IMDb, Official site, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy the Book
Genre: Based on True Story

This movie gets: 8.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"A road movie of a different kind" - a review by pearly

The Motorcycle Diaries is based on the book of the same name, written by Ché Guevara. It's a diary (funnily enough) of Guevara's time spent, with best friend Alberto Granado (played by Rodrigo De la Serna), travelling by motorcycle across South America in the early 1950s. At this point in time, Guevara was an unknown, but the experiences that he had on this trip, which took place when he was in his early twenties, would shape many of his views and offers a great insight into the man he became.

The film is ably captained (if the lead actor can captain a film, rather than the director) by Gael García Bernal, who plays Guevara, and who proves himself further with each role he has. He understandably has a bulk of the screen time, and there's not a moment where you don't enjoy watching him.

The film covers Guevara's reasons for leaving the relative comfort of living with his family at a young age and going off into the world, his relationship with his girlfriend of the time, his chance meetings with people driven from their lands and forced into dangerous work such as mining, and his time spent volunteering at a leper colony. As it goes on, the re-telling of this portion of Guevara's life (however accurate) offers quite an insight into the man known now to most as that guy on the t-shirts.

The Motorcycle Diaries is enthralling viewing for both Guevara experts, and people who haven't a clue who he is. Plus, you gotta love that soundtrack. Chipi Chipi is a particular favourite.

pearly gives this movie 8 out of 10.
Review created on Tue 18 Jan 2005

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