I have seen this movie a few weeks ago, but forgetfulness and a lack of enthusiasm postponed the writing of this review considerably. I’ve never been such a huge fan of Steven Soderbergh even though Hollywood treats him with the reverence paid to a real, critical intellectual. I guess I never found his movies particularly engaging. Sadly, the same is true for the first of two films about Che Guevara. Although I really like the very manly Benicio del Toro, the movie did not take enough time to create some emotional attachment to the Che as he plays him. Maybe the camera is too distanced, maybe the story is told in a way that is too factual. But maybe it was just because there were so many different people who flitted in and out of the picture, who seemed to be important revolutionaries that probably everyone on Cuba knows by name. But for me they were just that: names and faces that appeared, seemed significant, but then never turned up again. This left me somewhat confused and distanced. Other than that, the story of the cuban revolution is interesting, of course. But the movie neither suceeded intellectually, i.e. it did not do much to enlighten me about the structural forces that set the revolution into motion, nor did it suceed emotionally, because I did not feel the engagement of the protagonists with their mission. One thing I liked though: it was the somewhat cold way in which the revolutionaries (and, of course, the military) dealt with human losses. Regardless if they are traitors or if they are old and trustworthy comrades: the guerilla war kills, and there is not much time for grieving. The revolution must proceed. The inevitability of this and the emotional detachment that might be necessary to keep it moving was striking for me in an almost Brecht-like way. I guess I will also watch the second part of this movie, but my expectations won’t be particularly high.
IMDb entry | Official Movie Website