Rudo Y Cursi | Directed by Carlos Cuaron, 2009
Sibling rivalries have been explored many times in movies and television. They always start out with the success of one and the jealousy it causes to the other brother and the division of the family. And they always end with the realization that they are brothers and they must like each other (I’m not really spoiling anything).
Carlos (Alfonso’s brother) Cuaron’s directorial debut Rudo Y Cursi is just another one of these movies. It brings nothing new to the table except a different location. Rudo and Cursi (Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna) work in a banana plantation in a small village in Mexico. Cursi dreams of becoming a singer and Rudo just wants to make money. One day a talent scout stops in their town and likes their prospects as soccer players (although they are a tad too old) and takes them to Mexico City to become stars. Througout the 100 minutes that the movie lasts, we get to experience their highs and their lows leading to a thrilling match between brothers that yields unexpected results.
As I said, Cuaron’s script brings nothing new to the world of sibling rivalries. There are some clever quips that the narrator delivers, but they just reassure what is happening. However, it was rather brave to have the situations that lead to the end. His direction is not that impressive either. The only moment where Cuaron truly shines as a director is during the final match. But besides that, his work is pretty meh.
The same can be said about the performances. Sure, they are energetic and they keept my attention, but still there was something missing. I just didn’t buy Bernal and Luna as siblings or soccer players.
Overall, Rudo Y Cursi is a mixed bag. I was entertained but at the same time I couldn’t help but notice the big flaws. I also quite enjoyed the truth about the human condition in Mexico. Hopefully the people involved can reunite on a better project