Gael García Bernal Leads A Subdued However Entertaining Biopic


  • Cassandro, the biopic about luchador Saúl Armendáriz, is as dynamic and flamboyant as its topic, however lacks depth and emotional engagement.
  • Gael García Bernal delivers a dedicated efficiency as Armendáriz, infusing the movie with coronary heart and admiration regardless of formulaic directing.
  • Whereas the movie explores themes of sexuality, cultural identification, and household dynamics, it fails to tie them collectively right into a cohesive entire, leaving the narrative incomplete.



It was solely a matter of time till Saúl Armendáriz, the person behind the well-known luchador Cassandro, obtained the biopic remedy. Director Roger Ross Williams, who co-wrote the screenplay with David Teague, jumps into the biopic area with Cassandro to pay tribute to the flamboyant trailblazer, with Gael García Bernal strutting in direction of huge awards consideration.

Cassandro follows Armendáriz (García Bernal), a lucha libre wrestler who rises to prominence when he switches from conventional uber-masculine luchador to combating as an exotico, a male drag wrestler. With the assistance of his coach Sabrina (Roberta Colindrez) and the assist of his household and family members, Armendáriz rises to fame.

Gael García Bernal in Cassandro

As dynamic, flashy, and flamboyant as Cassandro is, the biopic about him is a little more tame. Whereas Williams does properly to seize the sunshine of the imminents from Cassandro when he’s within the ring and the eagerness Armendáriz imbues in his character, the movie owes a terrific deal extra to García Bernal’s dedicated efficiency. Williams’ directing is a tad bit too formulaic and anticipated than it’s attention-grabbing and fiery. Cassandro chugs alongside at a good tempo, by no means delving deeper into the emotional notes or participating with this cultural phenomenon’s enjoyable facet.

The story juggles fairly a bit, from Armendáriz’s sexuality, and the household dynamics that shift as he explores his queerness by his life and artwork, to his battle with cultural identification, having been born in the US however returning to his Mexican roots with wrestling. The themes of the narrative will not be very refined, however there’s a lack of dedication to tying most of the components that make Cassandro the icon he’s. These features of Armendáriz’s life are simply items of a much bigger image that the movie by no means fully completes.

gael garcia bernal cassandro

Whatever the lackluster directing and the simplistic writing, Cassandro is barely price discussing due to the guts of the venture — García Bernal. He’s an actor who is continually difficult himself and searching for initiatives that reveal new layers of who he’s as an individual and artist. As an actor, you’ll be able to see how deeply García Bernal resonates with Armendáriz, giving a efficiency that’s stuffed with coronary heart and admiration. The enormity of the story just isn’t misplaced on García Bernal, who infuses his character and, by extension, the entire movie with urgency and respect. His sincerity is what makes Cassandro a worthwhile enterprise.

The biopic just isn’t a knockout win, however it is rather entertaining, largely as a result of incredible performances from García Bernal and the ensemble forged. Dangerous Bunny makes for a pleasant deal with as he additional explores this new avenue of artwork, and Roberta Colindrez could also be in a comparatively subdued position, however her innate charisma is sufficient to pull you in, in addition to information you to her earlier work, which deserves tons of recognition. Raúl Castillo is an exemplary co-star with a robust efficiency that enhances García Bernal’s portrayal.

Armendáriz created a larger-than-life character that demanded an equally audacious and imaginative biopic, however the toned-down conventional biopic remedy does have its advantages. Though Cassandro was not the kind to care about alienating individuals, the movie about him is anxious with being simply accessible, and that does permit for extra individuals to find this story. In the end, Cassandro is a touching story of a exceptional one who paved the trail for others to seek out liberation and acceptance by their chosen artwork.

Cassandro opened in choose theaters on September 15 and begins streaming on Prime Video September 22. It’s 107 minutes lengthy and rated R for language, drug use and sexual content material.

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