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cacb3995's Movie Reviews (15)

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A Portrait of Mad Ambition
3.5/4 stars

Recently I saw for the first time Werner Herzog’s 1982 classic “Fitzcarraldo” so I decided to do a review about it. It tells the story of Brian Sweeny Fitzgerald (Klaus Kinski), known as Fitzcarraldo in Peru, during the rubber boom of the beginning of the 20th century, as he embarks on a crazy adventure to get financial funds for his dream of opening an opera house in the town of Iquitos. Famous for its troubled production, “Fitzcarraldo” is one of the most accomplished films by its director, and one of the most interesting endevours to come from the Herzog-Kinski partnership.

The first thing that needs to be mentioned is the acting, especially Kinski’s excellent performance as Fitzcarraldo. His mannerism, his corporal language, the way he embodies that all but reasonable ambition, Kinski completely metamorphoses into the roles he plays, and that is nowhere clearer than in this film. It is well known that Herzog’s “best fiend” was troublesome during production, with many of the indigenous cast coming to hate him. It is even rumored that even one of them offered Herzog that he could kill Kinski for him, but Herzog declined because the film was not done shooting yet. Still, all the trouble was worth it, the result being a performance and a film that has stood the test of time. Also worth mentioning is the wonderful Claudia Cardinale as Fitzgerald’s wife Molly, who also delivers a very strong performance and a character who becomes Fitzcarraldo’s force and dignity. The rest of the cast also does a fantastic job, especially Huerequeque Enrique Bohórquez as (you guessed it) Huerequeue, the always drunk cook of the ship.

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