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:: Che Part One: The Argentine

I remember that director Stephen Soderbergh first presented Che as a total package of over four hours at Cannes. It was subsequently divided into two separate releases.

Che: Part One, which spans the life of Ernesto “Che” Guevara from the mid-1950s until the mid-1960s, bombards the audience with random events and dates. The main thrust is the Cuban revolution as Guevara and Fidel Castro land on the island intent on toppling the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista. Then there was Che's later visit to the United States, during which he addressed the United Nations. The latter segment is actually well shot in a doco-style.

The film does capture the dynamism and optimism of newly forged political ideals although we'd have liked to have seen more behind the flawed man. Benicio Del Toro does a great job as Guevara. The resemblance is striking and he brings a charismatic person to the screen.

Told largely in Spanish, Soderbergh's movie seems in possession of a certain truthfulness often lacking in this genre - its sources, after all, have been Guevara's own extensive writings and an interview with journalist Lisa Howard (played by Julia Ormond), in which he set out the motivations and philosophy of the Cuban Revolution.

It may seem a dour, relentless movie to some. But hopefully for others Che will be a rewarding insight into a charismatic and ambitious cult figure.

DVD Extras

Featurette - The Making Of Che
Interview with Stephen Soderbergh