Rudo y Cursi

gael garcia bernal

Rudo y Cursi
Made in: Mexico
Language: Spanish
Director: Carlos Cuarón
Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna, Guillermo Francella, Jessica Mas
Year: 2008

Synopsis: Half brothers Beto (Diego Luna) and Tato (Gael Garcia Bernal), nicknamed Rudo (Rough) and Cursi (Corny) respectively, work on a banana plantation in rural Mexico. The work is tedious, tiring, and they're barely making ends meet. The two frequently compete with each other as well.

The only escape for the brothers is their love of soccer. Cursi is a skilled striker, while the hot-tempered Rudo is a formidable goalkeeper. As luck would have it, a talent scout named Batuta (Guillermo Francella) notices the boys and offers a golden opportunity to enter the world of professional soccer.

The only catch is that he can only recruit one of them.

Will the brothers overcome their differences and grow stronger, or will the temptations of fame destroy both of them?

The Good: Frequently starring together, real-life pals Gael Garcia-Bernal and Diego Luna are superb actors who always share a genuine onscreen chemistry. Rudo y Cursi does a good job capturing the enthusiasm and energy of Mexican professional soccer, and the story moves along at a good pace.

The characters are believable, and the ending is unpredictable.

The Bad: Despite a well-handled conclusion, the movie doesn't do much to elevate the film beyond a conventional rags-to-riches plotline. Rudo y Cursi points out good lessons about morality and corruption as a result of sudden fame. But again, all of it's been seen and done before in other movies.

Who would like this film: This one's for you if you're fan of Mexican soccer, foreign films, and have a pretty good grasp of Mexico's social problems. Although it's a competently made film with good actors and a well-executed story, it falls well short of the kinds of subject matter Gael Garcia-Bernal and Diego Luna are capable of pulling off.

(2 and 1/2 stars out of 4)

Review written by: Joe Yang

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