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RUDO & CURSI

Director: CARLOS CUARON

MEXICO-U.S.A. • 2008 • SUBTITLED • COLOUR • DOLBY STEREO • DIGITAL • 103 MIN


THE BOYS ARE BACK IN TOWN! GAEL GARCIA BERNAL AND DIEGO LUNA, THE Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN TEAM, REUNITE FOR ANOTHER MORDANT LOOK AT CONTEMPORARY MEXICO FROM THE PEN OF CARLOS CUARON.

Carlos also takes over directing duties from elder brother Alfonso for a triumph-of-the-sporting-underdog tale which entertains royally while also lifting the lid on his countrymen’s deep social divisions and seemingly endemic corruption. The title characters are a couple of country bumpkins with big dreams, sent on their way when a fast-talking scout/hustler sees them playing in a local football match and offers to get them a trial with one of Mexico City’s big clubs. Both lads have nicknames reflecting their personalities: Luna’s goalkeeper ‘Rudo’ is ‘tough’; by contrast, Bernal’s striker ‘Cursi’ is prissy, something of a showman. They’re half-brothers whose friendly rivalry sharpens when it emerges that only one of them will get the big break.

The great thing about Carlos Cuaron’s writing, however, is that he always has another twist in reserve, pushing the boys’ comic misadventures as far as a final reel crunch match — and even there turning cliches on their head. Like Y tu mama tambien, you have to keep your eye on the margins too, for although the central plot-line is riotously engaging, it’s the keen observation of the skewed attitudes and twisted values shaping the characters’ aspirations which are the heart of the matter. All this plus a hilarious set-piece for anyone who remembers Cheap Trick’s ’70s classic I Want You to Want Me! — Trevor Johnston.

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