Che: Part Two (2008)
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Writers: Peter Buchman and Benjamin A. Van Der Veen
Che was split into two movies and this is the second one. Subtitled “Guerrilla” this follows Che as he tried to help incite revolution in the country of Bolivia. But after a long year struggling to get the locals on his side and with his failing health Che finds it difficult. The attempt eventually led to Che’s capture and eventual execution.
In the supplements they people behind these films made many mentions of how large Che’s life was and how they could have made, and maybe should have made, a mini series of his life instead of just two movies. After watching them I can totally see that. The first part felt much fuller and more interesting. While I think the whole project overall is definitely something worth while this second part felt a little too long and padded to me and I didn’t think really added much over all to the story.
While the first film was about a successful revolution the second one picks up years later with Che in Bolivia. What the focus seems to be is the failure. They have a difficult time getting people on their side and problems with money as well as the overall morale of the troops.
Del Toro once again turns in a wonderfully naturalistic performance. Soderbergh, definitely one of my favorite and most versatile directors today, once again acts as his own DP and editor. I love the economy of how he shoots and edits. There aren’t extraneous shots, he seems to know exactly what he is going for and the film is certainly gorgeous.
I enjoyed the whole film overall as an achievement but I felt that the second film was a bit too draggy. I assume the point was to show the boredom and the difficult of mounting the revolution and maybe if it had been an hour episode in a larger series it would have been ok but at two hours and fifteen minutes it seemed just too long considering the thin story. The whole thing is definitely worth checking out though at least for Del Toro and Soderbrgh’s directing and just his overall balls in taking a risk making a movie like this.