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  • Rudo y Cursi
    • Rudo y Cursi
    • Runtime:103 min
    • Release Date:2017-01-17 12:19:53
    • Director: Carlos Cuarón
    • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Sport
    • Studio:


This Mexican film follows two working class brothers who are catapulted
into fame when they become soccer stars. Their skills as footballers
are obvious, but the heights of fame, as we are often told, can come
with a price. One brother seems to handle it better, whilst the other
discovers drugs and gambling.

It's perhaps a story we have seen before in one guise or another and
this felt very formulaic. I just couldn't be get involved in the story
because of this. I might not be a sports fan or indeed a soccer fan,
but whilst I'm sure you would enjoy the film slightly more if you were,
the film isn't so much about the football, but about the brothers and
their rise and fall.

The film looks good, it's beautifully shot and there are quite nice
performances from the leads, Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal, who
lets face it is always good and cute as well, but for me there wasn't
enough depth to the story which seemed to skim through the motions
leaving me unsatisfied. The highlight is the video of Gael Garcia
Bernal singing some cheesy pop song.

More of my reviews at iheartfilms.weebly.com


*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Make no mistake about it, this film does not have any great message but
its' sure fun to watch. It's full of zest and sparkle and never a dull

There are two brothers – one is married with children and the other
single. They both work on a banana plantation and are cajoled into
signing up to play soccer in the big leagues in Mexico City. The laughs
start almost right away. If you like a film that can laugh at itself
and its' society than this may be for you. Everyone and everything gets
a good thumping. Also the focus is not on soccer – this is not a sports


The first film from the newly formed Cha Cha Cha Productions,
consisting of Mexico's finest filmmakers Alfonso Cuaron, Guillermo del
Toro and Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu, Rudo y Cursi is a hugely
enjoyable warm-hearted genre piece which re-teams the writer and stars
of Y Tu Mama Tambien, Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna.

Though, admittedly, not my greatest area of interest, there is always
something very engaging about the sports movie. This film is a shining
example of the genre. It tells the story of two poor country brothers,
Tato and Beto. Tato dreams of becoming a pop star and Beto dreams of
becoming a goalie. However, when Tato gets picked up, by random
happenstance, by a soccer talent scout, Beto is horrified. Tato sees it
as an opportunity to become famous and therefore get a record deal.
Soon afterwards, Beto is given a shot at being a pro at a different
club and they both become soccer sensations. Trials and tribulations
ensue and the whole film builds up towards the inevitable climactic
game with everything riding on it; brother versus brother.

On some level this is an entertaining rags-to-riches story like all the
other ones that have come before it. But there is a deeper level of
sentiment at work here that allows the audience to engage fully with
these characters and love them and hate them as necessary. The tragedy
of simple men being seduced and quickly destroyed by fame is examined
here, and to great effect due to the nicely rounded characters and
undeniable chemistry between the two lead actors.

Writer and director Carlos Cuaron (who co-wrote Y Tu Mama Tambien) does
a fantastic job here. There is not a superfluous scene in the piece and
the dialogue is not only hilarious but also snappy and natural. The
screenplay flows along so nicely that by the time the film ends, you
wonder where the two hours went and feel sad to be leaving these

A major problem with the film, particularly as a genre piece, is its
lack of actual football footage. Most of the football is off-screen for
some reason, perhaps the actors just aren't very good footballers. This
hampers the excitement and the build-up of the third act somewhat. It
is a huge pity because with so much invested in the characters, it
seems a shame to take the excitement down a peg by not showing the
matches. This is however merely a tiny problem in an otherwise splendid

This is an impossible film to dislike. Devoid of sentimentality yet
consistently heart-warming throughout, the lead and supporting
characters light up the scenes throughout with subtle quirks and
elegant tragedies. As dark as the story can sometimes get, it is never
bleak, and always rousing. What more could one want from a summer
popcorn movie?


Gael García Bernal and Diego Luna struck fireworks with their 2001 'Y
tu mamá también' directed be their close associate Carlos Cuarón. Now
once again the three men, along with important input from some of the
finest talent in Mexico, join in a low key, warmly humorous, well acted
and directed and produced RUDO y CURSI. There has been considerable
publicity about the movement to raise the importance of Mexican films
to the high standards of International films, largely due to the
passion of García Bernal, Luna, Cuarón, Alejandro González Iñárritu and
Guillermo del Toro. The success of this movement is obvious in this
very fine film – a tightly conceived story about the poor families in
Mexico who long for the ability to climb the ladder to success in
business, fame and comfort, and the Cinderella story recasting brothers
played by García Bernal and Luna whose struggle for opportunity leads
them into the bumpy relationship with a 'talent scout' (Batuta played
with aplomb by the Argentinean actor Guillermo Francella) and to
tenuous triumph because of their soccer talent and the inevitable
temptations of success in the great Mexico City world.

García Bernal is Tato (to be nicknamed 'Cursi' by his teammates), a
wannabe singer whose goal is to make it big in the world of
entertainment, using Batuta as his means to get there. Luna is his
brother Beto (to be nicknamed 'Rudo' – the alternate title of the film
is 'ROUGH AND VULGAR' instead of 'RUDO y CURSI'!) who is married but
longs to follow his brother into the fame of the Big League soccer.
Each lad lands in Mexico City, each takes advantage of his given soccer
talent and each succumbs to personal goals – Rudo to gambling and Cursi
to women and singing in silly music videos. Batuto is always on the
sidelines (and in the voice over narration) to follow each of brother's
successes and failures. The manner in which the two brothers compete
and come together creates a moving and tender story ending.

What makes this little film so special is the genuine qualities and
ensemble acting that come from García Bernal and Luna but also form the
actors portraying the impoverished but proud family of the two boys and
the 'big town characters' they encounter in Mexico City. The film feels
real and committed, mixing just the right amount of humor, fantasy, and
tenderness – thanks to the excellent script by writer/director Carlos
Cuarón. It is a pleasure to watch and a very fine statement about the
quality of films coming from Mexico.

Grady Harp

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