Che (Soderbergh, 2008)

Recently, I made a night (or two or three) out of watching Soderbergh’s Che movies. At first I figured the film was divided into two parts to keep the length manageable and more marketable. While this still might be part of the case, there was also a distinct difference in tone which really offered Soderbergh no choice but to divide them.

Che: Part One (Steven Soderbergh, 2008)

Part One is quite a bit more historical and political, and parts of it really bored me. Luckily, there were quite a few scenes of Che and his men wandering through the jungle while a Che interview voiced over the images. Those were the best parts of this film, and a good chunk was beautifully shot. I don’t know much about Che, but I think the Cuban Revolution is what he is best known for, which is probably why this part is so focused on the timeline, the plot, etc. Not bad, but not exactly my thing.  7/10

Che: Part Two (Steven Soderbergh, 2008)

Part Two was more up my alley. The first 20 minutes are poetic perfection. We see Che (in disguise) kiss his family goodbye and head to a remote jungle in Bolivia to set up a training camp. Few words are spoken and the images and music take over. The tone and cinematography are completely relaxing, which was a nice change of pace from Part One‘s long battle scenes. Then we see the guerrilla recruits sitting around talking and telling jokes. The middle portion of the film teeters on the edge of what I found uninteresting about Part One, but throughout it all, it does a much better job of taking its time and feeling less ‘important’. The end of the film echoes the poetry of the beginning, and solidified this as a much better effort.  8/10


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