Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) DVD Review
The Motorcycle Diaries
Reviewed by: Caro NessRead Amber Wilkinson's film review of The Motorcycle Diaries
I always enjoy watching these to see what the editor/director felt could be left out without affecting the integrity of the whole. These scenes add to the gentle humour of the film and its beauty.
Cast and Crew Interviews:
There are five interviews: with director Walter Salles, producers Robert Redford and Michael Nozik and actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Rodrigo de La Serna.
Each throws light on different aspects of filmmaking. Salles talks about the process of creating the film from the books and what he was attempting with his intentional nod towards the documentary form whilst shooting the film. The actors talk about the process of creating the essence of two such luminaries.
Serna speaks of his meetings with the real Alberto Granado, to whom he constantly referred for advice, and Bernal talks about what he hoped to convey with his interpretation of the young Che. Redford recounts the immense logistical, demographic and climatic difficulties that Salles faced and how he overcame them, not to mention having to dodge bandits in different parts of the continent, and Nozik talks about the extraordinary qualities that the two actors brought to the main roles.
Intersperses action from the film with comments from the interviews to give clarity to what is intended, either by the film itself, or by director and screenwriter, when visualising/interpreting the diaries. This feature begins with a pen, following the route that the two men took on a map, which opens out into a shot of them on the open road. This sort of montage technique - film to interview and back - gives a sharp insight into their motives and instincts and, as a result, the film's main focus - humanity - is explicit in almost every frame.
Behind The Scenes:
Explores the patience required to shoot a film of this kind and the endless takes, breaks between shots, search for the right angles and locations, the complexity of setting up lights in the middle of the pampas, the review of each take and the process itself.
Interview with Alberto Granado:
Granado, whom Che persuaded Castro to bring to Cuba with his wife, explains what drove the two men to make this journey and how his friend Ernesto changed and what changed him. He cites the leper colony as the pivotal point at which the idea to try to emancipate the disenfranchised peoples of South America first came to Guevara. He believes that the journey had sown the seed, for they met so many people who had been displaced by corruption and greed. He affirms that when they arrived at the leper colony and started treating people, who were literally segregated (this time by a river) from others, his friend's beliefs altered forever.
An old man now, the camera filmed Granado in Cuba at his home, with his wife and grandchildren around him. He says that to this day, Guevara is alive for him and that if there is a question he cannot answer, he does not ask his wife or Castro, he asks a silent question of Che and gets his reply.
This short documentary provides a charming counterpoint to the film, a testament to how greatly loved Guevara was by the people of Latin America and how richly deserved their trust in him must have been, because of his compassionate and insight.Reviewed on: 12 Mar 2006