Today in Latin America, Benico del Toro

benicio-del-toroToday in 1967 (42 years ago), actor Benico del Toro was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He is best known for his role in The Usual Suspects and can be seen recently in the epic Che, about the life of Ernesto Guevara.

Like many, del Toro started out in television and on any gig he could get. He starred in Big Top Pee-wee and as a villain in License to Kill, a James Bond film. As mentioned before, in 1995 he played the incredible Fred Fenster in the movie The Usual Suspects. He played Oscar Zeta Acosta, Hunter S. Thompson’s lawyer in another great film, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Next would come Traffic, which would earn him an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor and a Screen Actor’s Guild award for Best Actor. Other recent appearances include Snatch, 21 Grams, and Sin City. What concerns us today in his role in Che, which won him a “Best Actor” award at the Cannes Film Festival.

Che, of course, tells the story of Ernesto Guevara. The film is epic, clocking in at 268 minutes (4 and a half hours). It is broken up into two sections: Part 1 (The Argentine) focusing on the Cuban Revolution, and Part 2 (The Guerrilla) focusing on Che’s demise in Bolivia. The story is not idealized, it succumbs to the truth, it shows his flaws and his triumphs. It tries to explain a difficult time in Latin America through the eyes of one of the most intriguing men to walk its grounds.

Del Toro admitted that he always thought Che was a “bad guy” since his birth. He spent seven years researching Guevara, reading his every word. Much like Jon Anderson, del Toro was granted access to the entire world of Che Guevara.

The film was shot through two different cameras. According to TimeOut Chicago:

In keeping with the Marxist notion of advancement through two conflicting ideas—or dialectics—the film is set up as a contrast: It’s divided into halves, with two tempos, two color schemes, two aspect ratios and two approaches to chronology. Each half focuses on a different revolution—both fundamentally the same in theory but vastly different in outcome.

There is lots of opinions out about the movie. See it for yourself.


~ by Daniel on February 19, 2009.

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