129. Che (B)
: I've been struggling to figure out why I didn't like this biopic more than I did. It has an excellent cast, and like all of Steven Soderbergh's work it is well edited, directed, and photographed, but the film is missing something. Despite spending more most of the four hour plus running time with the title character, we never get a great deal of personal insight into Che Guevara as a human being. We know he has a family and friends, but that's rarely dramatized. What we're left with is Che's revolutionary struggle, which is probably more fascinating in the second half, which is dedicated to his activities in Bolivia (where it fails) than in the first half, which deals with the successful Cuban revolution.
Honestly, I think the film would have been more interesting if it took a long hard look at Che's life that takes place between the end of the Cuban revolution and his arrival in Boliva -- the intermission between the two parts, essentially. The film makes passing reference to his conflicts with Fidel Castro, and his failed attempts to start revolutions elsewhere before Bolivia, but for any detail the only refuge to be found is the audio commentary (which, from what I've heard so far, is fascinating, and another triumph for Criterion).
Home Video: 76+1