Life. What is it? What does it mean? Does it define our very existence? Is it the minds most dwelled upon subject? Is it not the question that every human being regardless of race, color, ethnicity or gender attempts to figure out? It is what Ernesto Guevara (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Alberto Granado (Rodrigo De la Serna) set to find out on their journey of South America in the film “The Motorcycle Diaries”.
Ernesto Guevara is a young, good looking medical student from Buenos Aires, Argentina, armed with an immensely strong will, an intense desire to explore and discover, while focused on learning about and making a difference in the world around him. Alberto Granado is a relatively young biochemist, also from Buenos Aires, who is very close friends with Ernesto and his family.
He is a radiant, fun loving character who although is not as good looking as his younger comrade, makes up for it with his “let’s do it at all costs” attitude and someone who shares the fundamental beliefs of expiernceing life and making a difference in the world with Ernesto. He, as well as Ernesto, leaves a tremendous impact on the viewer. The movie directed by Walter Salles and released in 2004, begins in 1951 with the two ambitions filled thinkers, packing for their journey encompassing the entire South America.
After the packing concludes and a few minor scenes pass, Ernesto waves goodbye to his family, boards Albertos motorcycle called “The Mighty One” and with that the two are off to face the answer’s to life’s most unanswered question, Itself. The two explorers begin their journey across their native country with their hopes high and minds churning at full throttle. They ride “The Mighty One” like outlaws through the open road, enjoying life at its climax with no regrets.
A few days later they arrive in Miramar, Argentina to be greeted by Ernesto’s girlfriend Chichina Ferrreyra. Ernesto is deeply in love with this woman. The relationship between Ernesto and Chichina is almost fairytale like, as if destiny was steering its path. Ernesto and Chichina share a very sexy love scene, without the sex, letting the viewer know that he or she is not witnessing puppy love, but a real and everlasting bond between the two characters. Ernesto gets lost in his love, temporarily forgetting the reason of his journey, only to be reminded by Alberto.
With Alberto’s wakeup call the two are back on the road, except with more luggage, the test of Ernesto’s love for Chichina. As the two men continue their amazing journey, they encounter various hardships and mountain- like obstacles in their way of making it to Peru to volunteer in a Leper colony. This is the climax and defining part of the movie. The answer of their entire quest is answered in the scenes in this section of the film. From this point until the end of the film, we realize what Life really means.
Events that show true humanity and compassion occur here. The impact of these events is so strong, that it could even change the way a viewer looks at daily life. This film would definitely be categorized as a “must see”. During the communist uprising in the 1950’s, many people did not see the poverty and injustice that was going on at the time. This is heavily supported by the movie as well as the movie review in the “New York Times”. The times tells us of Ernesto (Che) seeing this and giving his life, to introduce the end, to these atrocities.
They state “At the end of the film, after his sojourn at the leper colony has confirmed his nascent egalitarian, anti-authority impulses, Ernesto makes a birthday toast, which is also his first political speech. ” In this speech is when he highlights these problems. This type of subject is a great selection to be exposed to the entire world and one of my favorite parts of the movie. The reason for this is, when hardships of different peoples are exposed, more often than not, something is done about them and they end.
Also, witnessing this gives you an understanding of purpose, of life, that no word in language can describe. One just has to watch the movie to attain this incredible life changing understanding. The filming and directing were amazing parts of the movie. Throughout the entire film I felt as if, I too were traveling with Ernesto and Alberto. The exposure of the different beauties of some neighboring countries in South America drove home Che’s main idea he formed while on his trip. This was the idea of a united South America.
In other words this wonderful directing portrayed the idea that all things alike, in other words family, should come together. So in this case all things beautiful (the countries shown in the film) should be united. I must say that I loved this film, however everything has its faults. The only thing I can say that I didn’t like was the history given at the end. Che went on to become a communist revolutionary in Cuba, violently helping kick the United States out. This is supported by real information given at the end of the film in text.
I feel somewhat disappointed that a man of such intellectual prowess as Che would result to violence for an answer to what he saw as lives problems. He had gone from a promising young medical student to a communist radical, however I must say that he was seen be people of other backgrounds as a hero for later changing his ways to non violence. This is stated on the website www. science. jrank. org. It says “Che’s theory contained an implicit criticism of most Latin American communist parties, which had all but abandoned revolutionary violence. ” “The Motorcycle Diaries” was a life a changing film to me.
It brings me no surprise that it was met with load of positive critical acclaim. Everyone wonders about life. We all ask that same question to ourselves. Well, it’s time to answer it.
1. Marxism In Latin America. ” Marxism In Latina America. Other Free Encyclopedias. Web. ;http://science. jrank. org/pages/10094/Marxism-in-Latin-America-Foquismo. html.
2. Scott, A. O. “On the Road With Young Che. ” The New York TimesMovie Review. The New York Times, 24 Sept. 2004. Web. http://movies. nytimes. com/2004/09/24/movies/24MOTO. html