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The Battle [DVD]
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The Battle chronicles the story of Mexico s Battle of Puebla, the most important battle in Mexico s history. When the unbeatable French army invades Mexico to set up a monarchy, General Ignacio Zaragoza played by Kuno Becker (Goal!, From Prada to Nada), must defend the city of Puebla, commanding a poorly armed and outnumbered troop of men. Meanwhile, two young Mexican lovers manage to find love amidst the chaos of war. The Battle chronicles the bravery of a people pushed to the limit, fighting for their nation, their families and their pride.
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Then after the scene setting most of the film is all about the Battle of Puebla where the Republic made a spirited defence and took on the modern French and gave them a good kicking on the 5th May - hence the title. The story is told through the lives of some of the players firstly Mexico's gifted General Ignacio Zaragosa (Kuno Becker - `CSI Miami') and one of his soldiers Juan and his love interest Citali. This is a no holds barred action fest. The period detail is really good but some of the battle scenes do employ the handycam shake approach - which adds to the immediacy. There is plenty of blood and the action looks and feels very authentic. There is a cast of thousands too which is great for battles no CGI armies. It is very well directed, the actors all do a great job and the story is a rip roarin ride that will have you crying `Viva Mehico!' before the end credits roll.
The down side is for history fans - this film portrays the Battle of Puebla as some sort of decisive victory where colonial France got a royal thrashing and ran away. This was actually the first in a long line of battles that lasted till 1867 some six years later. It is unashamedly patriotic and overstates the entire Mexican cause in a deliberately misleading way. However, I really enjoyed the whole two hours - it is in Spanish, French and a couple of lines in English. The sub titles are good too, if you want a history lesson then don't go near this; if you want a costume based action fest then this will tick your boxes.
in the 1860's... While the USA, was at war with
itself, France, put a European Duke as head of
state of Mexico... A fascinating story, about how the
old world of Europe tried to get a colonel foothold,
in North America....
Sadly, this movie is let down by bad camera work.
The steadicam, is all over the place, with not one
stable shot. The camera shakes all the time, in a
NYPD Blue style. All well and good, but this is a
period piece set in 1861!!! The battle scenes are
confusing, and it's a pity... because there is good
acting in this movie, and a good story too... Maybe,
the DOP, was drunk... who knows...