Rudo & Cursi

Starring Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna
Dir. Carlos Cuaron
in UK cinemas from 26th June 2009

by Joanna Orland

RUDO & CURSI reunites Gael Garcia Bernal, Diego Luna and director Carlos Cuaron who first worked together 8 years ago in 2001’s Y Tu Mama Tambien. Not only does this film mark the reunion of these 3 Mexican wondertalents, but it is also the first project from Mexican Directing triple threat Alfonso Cuaron, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and Guillermo Del Toro with their groundbreaking new production company CHA CHA CHA. Based on these facts alone, there is some serious high expectation for this film as it takes just about all of Mexican’s film industry talent on board for its outing.

Ok, so now that we have the real life facts out of the way, what is this film about exactly? Well, Rudo and Cursi are two brothers from a small hick town in Mexico who make it big in the Mexican Football League. Cursi (Bernal) is the romantic who dreams of making it big as a singer rather than an athlete, and Rudo (Luna) just wants to play football, but struggles to keep it together as he falls deeper into his gambling addiction.

That’s the basic plot in summary form. But what’s it like? Well… remember the Geena Davis / Tom Hanks flick A League of Their Own? Well, replace the ladies with boys, baseball with football (soccer), and Tom Hanks with a Mexican and you’ve got Rudo and Cursi. The parallels are uncanny. Also, did I mention this film is a comedy? It’s got lots of serious and cheeky scenes but then every so often it turns slapstick. How bizarre. In retrospect it works quite well as I’m still thinking back on it laughing out loud at some of the more ridiculous scenes. Notably, Cursi’s bout as a professional singer – OMG that music video is amazing.

Anyway… the big flaw of the film is the hugely predictable ending, but at the same time it’s completely anticipated and if it doesn’t happen exactly as it does, the audience would feel let down. It’s just a shame that you know where this film is going straight from the start. Again, think of the ending of A League of Their Own, but add a predictable slapstick twist and you know how it ends.

Even with the predictability and bizarre humour of this film, it is salvaged by its oddball quirkiness and likability of its main actors. Main actors, who by the way, have aged (Luna more than Bernal) a lot since the days of Y Tu Mama Tambien. Still, it was nice to see these two united on screen with more of a maturity about them, still playing their usual idiotic, ignorant adolescent type selves.

In conclusion:

I want you to want me.
I need you to need me.
I’d love you to love me.
I’m beggin’ you to beg me.
Didn’t i, didn’t i, didn’t I see you cryin’?
Oh, didn’t i, didn’t i, didn’t I see you cryin’?

You have to see the film to know what the hell I just wrote there… and why I’m giggling to myself reading it over.

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