- 1 hr 36 min
Che! is a 1969 American biographical drama film based on the life of revolutionary Marxist, Ernesto "Che" Guevara. The movie follows Che's involvement in the Cuban Revolution and his subsequent attempts to foment revolutions in other countries. The film stars Omar Sharif as Che, Cesare Danova as Fidel Castro, and Jack Palance as Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. The film is divided into two parts, with the first part focusing on Che's involvement in the Cuban Revolution, and the second part on his attempts to start revolutions in other countries. The movie begins with Che meeting Fidel Castro in Mexico in 1956. Impressed by Castro's commitment to revolutionary politics, Che joins the group of rebels in their mission to overthrow the Cuban government. The first part of the movie centers around their guerrilla warfare and their eventual victory over Batista's military regime in 1959. The second part of the movie follows Che as he travels to other countries in an attempt to spread the revolution. He first goes to Congo, where he tries to help a group of rebels gain control of the government. However, he quickly realizes that the rebels are not as committed to the cause as he had hoped, and he leaves the country. Che then travels to Bolivia, where he again tries to start a revolution. This time, however, he is captured by the Bolivian military and executed. Overall, the film is a character study of Che Guevara, exploring his motivations and his singular focus on the revolutionary cause. It portrays him as a charismatic and passionate leader who is willing to put everything on the line for his beliefs. The film's director, Richard Fleischer, uses a number of cinematic techniques to illustrate Che's personality. For example, the movie often uses extreme close-ups of Che's face to convey his intensity and resolve. Additionally, Fleischer frequently uses slow-motion shots to heighten the drama and tension of certain scenes. The cinematography and production design are also noteworthy. The film was shot on location in Mexico, Spain, and Bolivia, and the landscapes and costumes are authentic and evocative. The score, composed by Lalo Schifrin, is also notable, with its use of Latin American rhythms and instruments. Critics at the time of the film's release had mixed opinions about the movie. Some praised the film's portrayal of Che as a complex and sympathetic figure, while others criticized it for glorifying revolution and failing to acknowledge the atrocities committed by Guevara and other revolutionaries. Despite the mixed reviews, Che! remains an important and influential film, both for its portrayal of a revolutionary figure and for its artistic merits. It is a compelling and well-crafted biopic that provides insight into one of the most important political figures of the 20th century.