Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths

November 5, 202270/100816 min
Starring
Daniel Giménez Cacho, Giselda Sicillani, Ximena Lamadrid
Written by
Alejandro G. Iñárrtu and Nicolás Giacobone
Directed by
Alejandro G. Iñárrtu
Run Time
2h 39min
Release Date
December 16th, 2022
Overall Score
Rating Summary

         The Buddhist believe Bardo is the state of existence between death and rebirth, which should give you an idea what you are in for with the new film by director Alejandro Ińárritu. So it’s a good thing we have him leading us down this path, because it is nourishment for both the eyes and your cinematic soul. Our last fix was seven years ago with The Revenant,  which in movie years seems like an eternity, but that drought is finally ending, and for me it was well worth the wait.

            Silverio Gacjo ( Daniel Giménez Cacho) is a journalist turned documentarian who is being awarded a prestigious prize in the U.S. for journalism. Silverio will be the first Mexican to do so and even though he has lived in Los Angeles for the last ten years, he has decided to spend the days up to receiving the award back in Mexico. Some of the time is with his family in an apartment in Mexico City reviewing his life. This is a personal journey for him, as he thinks about the decisions he has made and being torn from the country he was born in and the one he has lived in for the last decade. To say the relationship that Silverio has with Mexico is strained is an understatement. Moving to the U.S. has caused him to lose touch with not just his close friends, but his ancestral roots as well. It is his retun home that sets his mind on a self-examination of his own history that takes him on a path that will cover many aspects of his life.

Ińárritu, who co-wrote the script with Nicolás Giacobone deliver a very layered script that feels rather personal, as if they are using this story to exercise their own personal ghosts. Silverio is a very familiar character in a situation we have seen before, that of a portrait of an artist, who at middle age starts to question it all. Cacho really brings the character to life, with a stirring performance of intensity, pain, wonder, and humor. There is really no doubt who he is playing as you can see that he is Ińáritu even down to the look. Cacho brings truth to this performance as he goes through a whole range of emotions, from anger sadness, pride, and of course happiness. Although there is plenty of things that are being said that we should take note of, where Bardo really shines in its visuals. The film is quite simply stunning and really is a treat for the eyes and for me was a cinematic exercise in beauty. Seeing it on a big screen really is has the desired outcome, but regardless of where you see it, watching it is the most important thing.

            Bardo often feels like a dream and one you may not want to wake up from because of its grace and visual storytelling. This might be the most complex and personal film by Ińárritu yet and deserves attention for its entire 2 hour and 39 minute run time. It is an ambitious epic, unlike anything you have seen and is filled with so much visual wealth. You will be thinking about this movie long after it is over, because who knows, maybe you will see a little bit of yourself in Bardo.

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