NERUDA

Pasatiempo - - MOVING IMAGES -

This movie opens in a men’s room. In di­rec­tor Pablo Lar­rain’s (Jackie) sly con­struct, the Chilean Sen­ate lounge is fit­ted with uri­nals and wash basins, and the pols con­duct their busi­ness while con­duct­ing their busi­ness. It sets the tone for a witty and fab­u­list ad­ven­ture. Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco) was one of the last cen­tury’s great­est po­ets, and also one of his coun­try’s most fa­mous po­lit­i­cal fig­ures, rep­re­sent­ing the Com­mu­nist Party. In 1948 Chile’s pres­i­dent, Gabriel González Videla (Al­fredo Cas­tro) out­laws the Com­mu­nist Party, as a re­sult of which Neruda finds him­self a fugi­tive. He goes on the lam, pur­sued by his own per­sonal Javert, Po­lice In­spec­tor Ós­car Pelu­chon­neau (Gael Gar­cía Ber­nal). As the chase con­tin­ues, we feel an in­creas­ing con­nec­tion be­tween Neruda and Pelu­chon­neau, a sense that they need and com­plete each other. The poet ro­man­ti­cizes his flight, and the po­lice­man finds him­self more and more drawn to the mys­tique of the man he is pur­su­ing. Rated R. 107 min­utes. In Span­ish with sub­ti­tles. Cen­ter for Con­tem­po­rary Arts. (Jonathan Richards)

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