Machuca (2004) (Chile)
Posted: Fri Jul 15, 2005 5:51 pm
Director: Andrs Wood
Cast: Matias Quer, Ariel Mataluna, Manuela Martelli
This movie was submitted by Chile to the Oscar in 2005.
The official website is here
and an English version is here ...
September 11 ... this day stirs a deep emotion among Chileans ... it is the day whereby Pinochet's military seized Allende's presidency in a coup d'etat...
The movie began in 1973, Santiago, Chile. Two kids (Gonzalo Infante and Pedro Machuca) became the most unlikely friends from two vastly different social classes. Predictably, you are going to witness challenges to the friendship, differences in lifestyles, etc ... In the end, will their friendship survive the chaotic political upheaval?
What I like ...
There are a number of thought provoking and interesting/realistic scenes:
-- at the rightists demonstration, the kids readily take side with the demonstrators ... at the leftists demonstration, they readily switch sides to be with the demonstrators ...
-- Pedro's father's harsh reminder to the two kids what they will be many years down the road ... "You (Gonzalo) will go to college, you (Pedro) will still clean the toilet!" ... " You (Gonzalo) will work in your father's corporation, you (Pedro) will still clean the toilet!" ... "You (Gonzalo) will own your father's corporation, you (Pedro) will still clean the toilet!" ...
-- Gonzalo's mother, "It is not about racism, class division, etc etc etc ... we are just different ... why do you insist on mixing apples and pears ... they are just different ..."
-- Another parent, "Why do you want to introduce them, they never need to know one another ..."
Although the director tries to be fair in portraying both sides of the stories, it is evident what his stands are regarding the issues. Watch it and you will know. Moreover, he seems to paint a more dysfunctional upper/middle class in contrast to a more lively and soulful lower class. Despite these issues, it is not starkly skewed.
Noteworthy, the movie does not dwell too much on the politics (you will not gather much from the movie) but more on human and relationships ...
Regarding casting, scenes with Silvana (Pedro's neighbor) are always fun to watch ...
... Above average film
... Chileans who have gone through those tough tumultous times would definitely find it very personal and unforgettable!