Foreign films require concentration. Not only am I taking time to read the subtitles, I’m also paying attention to the actors and their environments. Pablo Larraín’s NERUDA brought it’s viewers into the world of poet Pablo Neruda and the chaos of Chile in the late 1940s. The film is more just a look at Neruda’s political persecution but more of a fantastical look into a world that he could’ve created.
I went into the Ritz Bourse theater expecting a biopic and though I was incorrect with that assumption, I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw instead. The basis of the film, is a chase. Not just any chase but a pursuit of will and conviction. Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) is an artist and politician (artist first!) with Dionysian tastes, he’s well loved by the people that is until his criticisms of the Chilean President find him on the run from the law. The narrator and pursuant, Oscar Peluchonneau (Gael Garcia Bernal), is a dog-nosed detective desperately trying to capture the elusive Neruda. After doing a bit of research, it appears that Peluchonneau never existed but the character itself gives a face to kind of people that were after the poet searching for his “great escape”. Both men found themselves questioning their resolve which resulted in life and death.
I loved the movie for its story and the character development. If you aren’t into foreign films then let NERUDA be your introduction into a mind opening experience.