since he was a child, gael garcia bernal has been devoted to the art of acting which was shared by his parents. born in mexico in 1978, we can meet this actor in amazing movies that figure my list of favourites such as babel, mammoth, amores perros and mala educacion. in this post i will talk about 9 of his movies that i have already seen and what for me is relevant and special about them.
the first international famous movie he starred in and the director is definitly my favourite one: alejandro gonzález iñarritu, which directed 21 grams, babel and most recently, biutiful with javier bardem. amores perros revolves around three different stories (in the same style of babel): first, the story of octavio who is in love with his sister-in-law and in order to run away with her, he bets on dogfighting with his dog; secondly, the story of the supermodel valeria and her husband daniel, which are caught in a car accident which results in valeria's leg loss; and finally, the story of el chivo, a homeless man who takes care of harmed dogs and is hired to kill a business man. all this stories are connected by valerie's accident: octavio provoked the accident and el chivo fails to kill the business man because the accident occurs in front of him.
in this movie, gael garcia bernal plays octavio, a boy who falls in love with his sister-in-law which is mistreated by his brother. this is one of his most intense characters (after "mala educacion") and the strength of the images of the dogfighting really create a violent and agressive environment in which he could build his character on. this is in my opinion, the most agressive movie not only in gael garcia bernal's career but also in the portfolio of alejandro gonzález iñarritu.
y tu mama también
this is definitly one of the best mexican movies made, starring two of the most talented mexican actors: gael garcia bernal and diego luna. the plot revolves on two teenage boys (tenoch and julio) from mexico city that meet a beautiful woman, luisa, that is getting married with tenoch's cousin. tenoch and julio in order to impress luisa, lie to her saying that they are going on a trip to the most beautiful beach in Mexico (which does not exist). luisa then finds out that her groom has cheated on her and decides to go with tenoch and julio in their road trip. and the story moves on through their trip, evolving in how the physical attraction of the boys influences their relationship between each other and women.
it is a very sexual movie around teenage boys experiences regarding sex, in terms of discovering themselves, understand their desires and fulfilling expectations. the team of friends diego luna and gael garcia bernal really show in this movie their quality as actors, but also the quality of mexican movies.
diarios de motocicleta
this is a biographical movie of a period of che guevara's life, more especifically when he was twenty-three years old and took a trip through south america with his friend, albert granado. both friends intend with this trip get to know everything they have read about their continent in books, but this ends up beind more than that; it is an adventure with up and downs that leads to reflection regarding how the world works and who you are in it. in this trip, ernesto che guevara, starts to reflect about how people live in his continent and this later came up to be the origin of the legend that "che guevara" came to be.
this is a movie focused on a period of time, on the understanding of a society, and not so focused on character's lives. it is a trip for us to understand how things worked and why the revolution took place. this is why the character's depth is only on focus in terms of interpretations and reflections of what is happening and what is seen; it is a portrait of what lead to a movement; that nowadays is seen as iconic but not as meaningful as it was in the world's eyes.
la mala educación
in terms of roles, this is my favourite from gael. it is complete, intense, and of course, the director is pedro almodóvar and no one could miss that. beyond this two points, it issues the sexual abuse from religious representatives which i think is an interesting subject that is often ignored.
the plot is about ignacio and enrique, who are abused in christian school and soon share love and fear as little boys. some years later the three meet again and the memories come together to redefine the future.
what makes this movie amazing regarding gael, is the different characters inside his role he has to be, and the level of aggressive sexuality, visible and provokative to the audience. simply an amazing movie.
la science des rêves
this movie is easily identified with his director, michael gondry, due to the similarity of style with the "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind". but another great point in favour is the starring actress, charlotte gainsbourg.
the story is about a young mexican adult called stéphane, that comes to live in paris to work for a calendar shop and ends up falling in love with his neighbour, stéphanie. but stéphane is a very particular person that lives in an imaginary world when he needs to escape the problems of reality.
the whole movie introduces us to his imaginary world to which stéphanie is also presented.
it is a very interesting movie, with different formats due to the constant illusion of stéphane that makes us think beyond reality and leave us to different interpretations of it.
i would not say is better than the "eternal sunshine of the spotless mind" but i would say the actors are really worth it.
as said before, babel is the connection of different stories, in this case four stories connected by a single event. the first story is with brad pitt and cate blanchett, a couple that travels to morroco to solve their issues; but behind they leave their children with a nanny, that has a family wedding in mexico and decides to take the children with her across the border, which creates the second story. there is also the life of a japanese girl dealing with rejection and the death of her mother, and how she reacts emotionally due to these situations. finally, there is the story of two little boys that are given a riffle by their father so they can take care of his herd in morocco.
it is probably the most dramatic movie ever made with shocking but beautiful in a dramatic way.
in this movie, gael garcia bernal plays a little role in the story of the nanny that takes the children to her family wedding in mexico, and although he only has a little part, he takes the major action in that story and manages to rip an emotion out of the audiente.
the book of josé saramago "ensaio sobre a cegueira" translated into a movie. its not a complete disappointment, but as always, the book always wins over the movie. the story is about a city that goes completely blind and how this affects the behavior of people and increases the rationality disparity between respect and survival. gael plays the bad guy role which is not usual, but as always he brings the best to it, by attracting disgust and anger against his character.
mammoth (click on it)
letters to juliet (click on it)
i must say i am disappointed by having this filmography and finishing it with movies like "letters to juliet" and the movie for this year "a little bit of heaven" with kate hudson. but there is still hope, so i finish this post with the trailer of the movie "también la lluvia":