Directed by Pablo Larraín
It’s 1948 and the Cold War has arrived in Chile. In the Congress, prominent Communist Senator and popular poet Pablo Neruda accuses the government of betraying the Party and is stripped of his parliamentary immunity by President González Videla. The Chief of Investigative Police instructs inspector Óscar Peluchonneau (played by Gael García Bernal), to arrest the poet. Neruda tries to escape from the country with his wife, the painter Delia del Carril, but they are forced to go underground. Inspired by the dramatic events of his new life as a fugitive, Neruda continues to write his epic Canto General, while being pursued ever more hotly by the forces of fascism.
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★★★½ review by alie on Letterboxd
gael garcía bernal: squints for two hours
me: now THIS is cinéma
★★★½ review by Mike D'Angelo on Letterboxd
A.V. Club review. Kinda wish Neruda himself barely figured in this, as the stretches that approximate a straight biopic are comparatively turgid. Everything involving the Pirandellian detective who pursues Neruda, on the other hand, positively sings—in large part because García Bernal is confident enough to do virtually nothing, allowing Larraín to sculpt a void of a performance around his classically handsome features. What's more, Larraín and his regular D.P., Sergio Armstrong, have found an arresting, uniquely digital analogue to noir shadows, creating silhouettes that look as if they're encased in crushed velvet. Scenes of Neruda declaiming the glories of Communism, or composing Canto General while in hiding, can't compete with the lush imagery and meta-textual playfulness that dominate the film when he's not around, even though Luis Gnecco deftly sidesteps all the Great Man pitfalls. Half masterpiece, half tolerable.
★★★★ review by Raul Marques on Letterboxd
Larraín's 'The Life of Pablo' is everything but yet another awards friendly biopic about a prestigious and controversial figure. Peculiarly crafted as this singlular stream of consciousness detective novel for the most part, the film deliberately sidelines Neruda's life and dives head first into sophisticatedly metalingustic text that increasingly overwhelm whatever is left of the biographical approach in order to construct something truly special. The movie often goes overboard in its attempts to sustain such an unique framing for this type of production, specially with its undeniably stunning cinematography that doesn't partciulatly serve the script that well at all times, despite having its value in suggesting the fictionalization that's vital to the Westworld-ish punch that comes in one of the year's best sequences. Also, the last act is the ideal version of what Iñárritu was trying to achive in The Revenant.
★★★★½ review by danote on Letterboxd
Es como un noir latinoamericano con harta poesía. En momentos me recuerda al Malick de Days of Heaven, su cinematografia y su música, pero sobre todo su voz en off, tan lírica que permite a Larrain jugar con los visuales para hacer poesía pura.
Sin embargo, hay mucha más energía que en las early-Malicks. Esas fiestas en casa de Neruda, las visitas a los burdeles, las locaciones del último tercio, la luz natural... aquí hay tantos elementos que en conjunto funcionan haciendo magia audiovisual.
Aparte, Luis Gnecco como Neruda y Gael como su perseguidor hacen una dupla inolvidable, tipo el coyote y el correcaminos o Hanks y DiCaprio en Catch Me If You Can.
Bravo, Larrain. Dos de tres este año, me falta Jackie.
★★★★ review by Kiko Vega on Letterboxd
Pablo Larraín es uno de los mejores narradores del momento. Que lo que cuente sea o no real, o que no te guste su planteamiento ya es problema tuyo.
Apoyada en un sentido del humor más negro que los cojones de un grillo, Neruda es un biopic polar que termina como un western.
Y qué diálogos de Guillermo Calderón otra vez, amigos.
Estéticamente es alucinante, Larraín es un jugón.
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