Watch Moon over Parador
- 1 hr 36 min
Moon over Parador is a 1988 comedy-drama that features an all-star cast led by Richard Dreyfuss, Raul Julia, and Sonia Braga. Directed by Paul Mazursky, who also co-wrote the screenplay, the movie tells the story of Hollywood actor Jack Noah (Dreyfuss), who is visiting the fictional South American country of Parador to shoot a film. Things take an unexpected turn when the country's dictator, Manuel Noriega-like leader Rafael Montero (Julia), suddenly dies of a heart attack during a wild party. Fearing a power vacuum and a potential coup, Montero's confidante Roberto Strausmann (Jonathan Winters) turns to Noah, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the late dictator, to impersonate Montero and maintain the status quo. At first reluctant to get involved, Noah eventually agrees after being seduced by the luxurious lifestyle and the possibility of taking control of the country's oil reserves. The rest of the movie unfolds as a quirky, often surreal, parody of Latin American politics, complete with colorful characters, sublime scenery, and satirical humor. As the newly appointed dictator, Noah quickly learns that being a dictator is not as easy as it seems. He has to deal with corrupt officials, rebellious guerrilla fighters, and a diverse population that is tired of living under the iron fist of a dictator. The situation becomes even more complicated when he falls in love with Madonna (Braga), Montero's mistress, who is torn between her loyalty to the old regime and her growing affection for Noah. Throughout the movie, Mazursky uses the image of the Hollywood actor as a metaphor for American imperialism and cultural domination. He also satirizes the often-cliched portrayal of Latin American politics in American cinema, where dictators are portrayed as bombastic, cigar-smoking, and womanizing caricatures. Despite being a comedy, Moon Over Parador doesn't shy away from addressing serious themes such as the struggle for democracy, human rights, and social justice. The movie also features stunning cinematography by Donald McAlpine, who captures the beauty and diversity of South America with rich, saturated colors and dynamic camera movements. Another standout aspect of the movie is its soundtrack, which features a mix of Latin American and American popular songs, including the memorable title track performed by Tito Puente and his orchestra. The music adds to the movie's vibrant, festive atmosphere, which contrasts with the dark and sometimes violent nature of the story. Overall, Moon Over Parador is a delightful, thought-provoking, and entertaining movie that combines humor, romance, and political satire in a unique and original way. It remains a cult classic among cinephiles and a testament to Paul Mazursky's talent as both a writer and director.