The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

R   |    |  Adventure, Biography, Drama


The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) Poster

The dramatization of a motorcycle road trip Che Guevara went on in his youth that showed him his life's calling.

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7.8/10
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  • Gael García Bernal at an event for The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
  • Mía Maestro at an event for The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
  • Rodrigo De la Serna in The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
  • Gustavo Bueno and Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
  • Gael García Bernal and Alberto Granado at an event for The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
  • Rodrigo De la Serna and Gael García Bernal in The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)

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Cast & Crew

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Director:

Walter Salles

Writers:

Ernesto 'Che' Guevara (book), Alberto Granado (book), Jose Rivera (screenplay)

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User Reviews


15 October 2004 | noralee
A Politically Thoughtful and Pretty Grand Tour of South America
"The Motorcycle Diaries" (Diarios de motocicleta) works more effectively as a bio-pic than on its own as a road movie.

The scenery throughout Latin America is beautiful and the two leads are very affecting, especially Gael García Bernal as Ernesto Guevara de la Serna when "Che" is still nascent.

But it's surprising how undramatic what happens that turns a sweet, middle-class med student into a revolutionary. He was already a liberal who wanted to help leprosy patients, so what happens isn't a complete turn-around -- even when they are broke, they can wire home for more money. Rather it sets off an internal thoughtfulness that is difficult to catch on film.

Mostly just leaving his sheltered life, particularly being dropped by his wealthy girlfriend, and seeing the continent, especially his first exposure to the indigenous peoples who suffer the most in every South American country even while tourists are visiting the ruins of their ancestors, becomes the nexus of his pan-continental political ideals.

He is mostly an observer and inconsistent protester of injustice, not a victim -- it's startling that his culminating noble sojourn at the leper colony, where he can put his skills and indivisible warmth to specific good, is only for three weeks.

So there's no eye-opening "Grapes of Wrath" conflict, though he is always contrasted with his carefree companion, Alberto Granado. Their close camaraderie is well-captured and Ernesto has a profound impact on him, as we learn in a final biographical summary.

It is amusing that Ernesto contradicts the stereotype of the Latin male sensualist and is a terrible dancer to the lovely soundtrack.

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