With fish swimming on a train and babies asking to be put back in their mothers – Bardo, may make you question what you signed up for when you start the movie that will be streaming on Netflix later this week. The story seems to be a bit all over the place, and it easily can be shrugged off as the storytelling of a creative mind. But there is a lot more to this sweeping film that covers decades of a man’s life through visuals that seemly only make sense to him.
Scenes fall into other scenes, and things don’t flow as they would with regular time in Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths. The movie is predominately in Spanish with bits of English taking viewers on a journey through a few years of a documentary filmmaker’s life. What he’s experiencing before he was presented with a big award. His life in Mexico and in Los Angeles are at odds in his head, and often in the story – not making a lot of sense to viewers, except it could to him. The story double backs on itself at times, and things aren’t as he presented it originally, leading heavily towards the movie being more a representation of his reality of how the narrator sees it. But, it’s never that easy.
Visually, Bardo is stunning. The movie takes risks and takes the audience to places they’ve never been before. Not all are places they may want to go, however. And there may be a point a lot of people decide that the movie is just not for them.
Like the title says, the movie is a Falce Chronicle with a handful of truths. It does start to pull the narrative together and makes more sense as you watch it – but that will require a commitment to the movie. The longer run time and often absurd and bizarre parts of the story may make that harder for some viewers. But since it will be streaming on Netflix, the movie will give you plenty of time to pause and continue the story as needed for bathroom breaks.
Artistic, beautiful sweepy scenery is mixed between moments that can only be described as mundane life and even moments of absurdity. The film is, in no doubt, an obvious awards contender this year with visual storytelling and filming at play here. It may not be for everyone, but Bardo is definitely a movie to watch before the award season gets here.
ABOUT BARDO, FALSE CHRONICLE OF A HANDFUL OF TRUTHS
Five-time Academy Award®-winner Alejandro G. Iñárritu brings us BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths.
BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths is an epic, visually stunning and immersive experience set against the intimate and moving journey of Silverio, a renowned Mexican journalist and documentary filmmaker living in Los Angeles, who, after being named the recipient of a prestigious international award, is compelled to return to his native country, unaware that this simple trip will push him to an existential limit. The folly of his memories and fears have decided to pierce through the present, filling his everyday life with a sense of bewilderment and wonder.
With both emotion and abundant laughter, Silverio grapples with universal yet intimate questions about identity, success, mortality, the history of Mexico and the deeply emotional familial bonds he shares with his wife and children. Indeed, what it means to be human in these very peculiar times.
Mexican actor Daniel Giménez Cacho plays Silverio Gama in an indelible performance. Shot on resplendent 65mm by Academy Award®–nominee Darius Khondji (Amour, Se7en) and written by Iñárritu and Nicolás Giacobone (Oscar®–winning Birdman: Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) and Biutiful), BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths marks Iñárritu’s first film to be shot in Mexico since 2000’s international sensation Amores Perros. The film features production design by the Oscar®–winning Mexican designer Eugenio Caballero (ROMA, Pan’s Labyrinth) and costume design by Anna Terrazas (The Deuce, ROMA).