"Bardo" is an absolute blast
Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths
Starring Daniel Giménez Cacho, Griselda Siciliani, Ximena Lamadrid, Iker Solano, Luz Jiménez, Luis Couturier, Andrés Almedia, Clementine Guadarrama, Jay O. Sanders, Francisco Rubio, Fabiola Guajardo, Noé Hernádez, Ivan Massagué. Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone. Directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu. Now playing at TIFF Bell Lightbox. 174 minutes. R (U.S.)
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⭐️⭐️⭐️½ (out of 4)
"Bardo" is a magical memory tour de force. Alejandro G. Iñárritu's epic trip of ego and id vividly conveys the disorientation of being caught between worlds: Mexico/America, journalist/participant, parent/child, past/present. It follows the picaresque journey of the self-propelled Silverio Gama (Daniel Gimenéz Cacho), an acclaimed newsman and documentarian who returns to his homeland Mexico after many years of living and working in Hollywood. Even as he basks in career honours, he has to anxiously come to grips with realities and contradictions in both his birth country and his adopted one, accompanied by his wife (Griselda Siciliani) and kids (Ximena Lamadrid and Íker Sánchez). The title "Bardo" is a Tibetan Buddhist word referring to the free-floating state between death and rebirth. Magic realism illustrates that heady concept: a baby decides not to leave the womb because he's fearful of the world; a pyramid of bodies leads Silverio to a summit meeting with Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés. Iñárritu calls his semi-autobiographical film "a journey of recouping memories." It's also an absolute blast, with lead star Gimènez Cacho as a Felliniesque version of Iñárritu lighting the fuse of a dynamite cast. DP Darius Khondji's 65mm lensing explodes eyeballs. 🌗
Daniel Gimenéz Cacho plays a Felliniesque version of director A. G. Iñárritu in "Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths."