Rudo & Cursi [DVD] 
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Mexican comedy drama starring Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal as Beto and Tato, rivalrous half-brothers who work on a dusty banana plantation and play football for their local team on their days off. Both men dream of leaving their poor hometown behind them and earning enough to build a dream home for their mother, Elvira (Dolores Heredia). Beto, whose notorious temper on the field earns him the nickname of 'Rudo', dreams of becoming a professional goalkeeper, while Tato, nicknamed 'Cursi' owing to his fancy moves and trickery on the pitch, wants to be a famous singer. When the two are accidentally discovered by professional talent scout Batuta (Guillermo Francella), their lives change forever - but can they ever reconcile their brotherly differences?
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Top Customer Reviews
That said, I thought it was very good, both as a tragi-comic story and as a device to show up a particular form of exploitation. It is firmly in the tradition of the great old Mexican films made in the 1940s where 'slick well-educated and rich upper classes' try to exploit 'ignorant but honest peasants' and at first appear to succeed but the very naïveté of the peasants means that they actually come out if it all happy back where they started. In the old films the heroes were cowboys or peasants, here they are footballers.
The two brothers are very well acted, as is the amusingly unscrupulous Argentinian agent, and the script is well written of its kind. You do want to know how the story ends, you certainly become caught up in the story. I would recommend it to expatriate Mexicans above all, but also to anyone who wants a story that will make them smile wryly from time to time.
Then while they are playing a game of football, a wandering talent scout has the misfortune to get a puncture in their town. He watches the match whilst drinking cold beer and awaiting the repair. He then says they are both good enough to play at club level, but he will only take one. They decide which with a penalty shoot out -as one is striker and the other a goalie.
Tato wins and its off to Mexico city, where he gets to meet the rich and famous and indulge his real passion of singing - badly. He pesters Baton the coach into finding a place for his brother and he manages to get him one.
The story is about love, envy, greed, pride and the sudden realisation that the higher you get, the further you have to fall. There are some really great moral lessons in here all tied up with buckets of humour and real affection. It is a warm story told well, acted superbly and brilliantly written and directed by Carlos Cuaron. At ninety seven minutes it will be over leaving you wanting more, in Spanish (Mexican) with great sub titles, this was one of those films I had been meaning to see for a while and now can not belive I was missing out for so long - can not recommend highly enough.
Bernal’s and Luna’s characters are half-brothers, working on a banana plantation but who both hit the big time by being talent-spotted to play in the top Mexican soccer league. The guide for the viewer in what is essentially a tale of innocence tempted by riches (and all that comes with that scenario) is the Batista, the streetwise philosophising talent-scout himself.
The film can be seen as a commentary on contemporary Mexico. The allure of Mexico City adds to the winning streak of both brothers, but it’s not long before winning turns to losing, complicated by women troubles and gambling debts. If I mention that Luna’s character is a goalkeeper and Bernal’s a striker, and that eventually they have to come face to face on opposing teams, you may well think you can guess the ending: but, actually, it’s not that predictable after all, and things could go more than one way.
The blurb on the cover of my DVD says the film is “hilarious” and “a riotous comedy”. Sure there are laughs, but I counted only eleven when compiling my notes for this review and these laughs were more like smirks: certainly there are no guffaws. And it certainly is not as good as ‘Y Tu Mama Tambien’.
As for extras, the end-credits of the movie refer to a ‘Making of’ but it’s not on my copy. Instead we have a five-minute interview in English with Carlos Cuaron who remarks that originally the idea was to make a mockumentary, but the result now is a drama with a sense of humour.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Brilliant study of how fortune does not often bring sense to the fortunatePublished 15 months ago by A. N. Saleem
Absolute rubbish. The blurb makes it sounds really interesting, but it's boring and just not funny at all. I didn't even waste my time watching all of it!Published on 19 Mar. 2013 by R A Mitchell
I love Luna and Bernal (from Y tu mamá también)!
These two have amazing chemistry which I love seeing again.
Great to see Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna back together, they share such a chemistry, they make very believable brothers, it was funny, sad, tense and possibly everything... Read morePublished on 26 Jun. 2011 by Miss A. L. MCCALL