Rudo and Cursi (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner19/06/2009

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 96 mins

Hugely enjoyable, impressively directed comedy-drama with a strong script and a pair of terrific performances from Y Tu Mama Tambien stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna.

What's it all about?
Directed by Carlos Cuaron (brother of the more famous Alfonso), Rudo and Cursi reunites Y Tu Mama Tambien stars Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna as half-brothers Tato and Beto, who live in a small, largely impoverished Mexican town and work on a banana plantation. However, their lives change when they're spotted by football talent scout Batuta (Guillermo Francella, whose character narrates the film) and soon they're living the high life in Mexico City as famous footballers who the media swiftly nickname Rudo (tough) and Cursi (corny), because of their different playing styles.

However, both men soon struggle with the pressures of their new-found fame: Tato gets distracted by his disastrous singing career and a high-maintenance relationship with glamorous dream girl Maya (Jessica Mas), while Beto sinks into drugs and gambling, much to the dismay of his wife Tonia (Adriana Paz). Finally the day comes when Rudo and Cursi face off against each other on the playing field, with their entire careers hanging in the balance.

The Good
It's oddly fascinating that Alfonso Cuaron's brother should choose to direct a film about sibling rivalry. Bernal and Luna are excellent as the squabbling half-brothers and their love-hate relationship is both hilarious and utterly convincing, especially during an early scene where Batuta chooses one brother over the other on the basis of a penalty kick.

The film often plays like the black comedy flipside to the Goal! movies: there's plenty of fun to be had at the expense of footballers' extravagant lifestyles (Bernal's excruciating music video is one of several comic highlights), but there's also the underlying reality of corruption and danger.

The Great
Cuaron orchestrates several memorable sequences (the fight scene is hilarious) and his decision to convey the football action almost entirely through commentary and crowd reaction works beautifully and is somehow fitting.

Worth seeing?
Rudo and Cursi is a highly entertaining, superbly scripted and darkly funny comedy-drama with terrific performances from Bernal and Luna. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 16/10/2017 23:03

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