3/10 Continuing the recent trend of directors making personal movies based upon their own upbringings that almost always only interests themselves and not a wide audience, the pretentious “Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” continues with co-writer/director Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s latest disappointment. The sad part is that Iñárritu is a talented, Oscar winning director who has delivered great films in the past (his most recent being “The Revenant”). The problem many directors have is that they reach a certain level of success and become surrounded by “yes men”. They are given carte blanche, more money than they need and not enough studio notes to keep their excesses in check. The main protagonist in the movie is Silverio (Daniel Giménez Cacho), a journalist/documentary film maker. After one of his films is shown for a crowd, a frenemy who considers Silverio a friend but insults him when he writes about him and tears apart his work speaks to Silverio. He goes on a rant about everything wrong with his film and the entire time he critiqued it, I couldn’t help but feel that every negative aspect he brought up applied to this movie as well. It should be noted that this movie is almost three hours long (!!!). When your running time is approaching “Avatar: The Way of Water” or a Marvel “Avengers” movie, you’ve got problems. This movie feels even longer than it actually is due to almost every single shot/scene going on way longer than it needs to. Take the very opening scene, for example. We see a shadow of a man walking, then running, jumping and landing as he walks some more. Showing this twice would have been fine but Iñárritu shows it three times. A dancing scene lasts twice as long as it needs to. A ton of the movie is just Silverio walking around aimlessly, which is as boring as it sounds. The movie is a fever dream with, as the title suggests, half truths. Some of what happens in the movie is based in reality and the rest is all fantastical, self indulgent nonsense. The movie is incoherent and bloated beyond belief. Iñárritu has complained that audiences just didn’t understand the movie. Well if I was in math class and went up to the chalk board and wrote emojis instead of numbers and then complained that people didn’t understand what I was doing, my complaint wouldn’t be justified now, would it? Another incredibly annoying thing that Iñárritu has stated in interviews is lazily pulling the race card and claiming that if you don’t like this movie, you are anti-Mexican/racist (ugh). Sure, Alejandro. It isn’t that the movie is pretentious, boring, nonsensical, poorly paced, has a soundtrack with so much sousaphone/tuba that I was waiting for the “Veggie Tales” theme song to start and is up its own ass…it must be that I just really hate Mexicans. Give me a break. As for the three points this movie earned and what works about it, there are a few excellent aspects. The acting all around is well done without a weak link in the chain. From a technical standpoint the movie is well made with some of the best cinematography of 2022. The direction is strong and there was definitely some creative, memorable imagery that will stick with me for a long time after viewing this movie. Despite the creative visuals, strong acting and fantastic cinematography, this unrestrained, incredibly slow snooze fest was lucky to go straight to Netflix and avoid premiering in theaters because this would have bombed hard. An insufferable pet project that appeals to no one, let’s hope Iñárritu gets back to coherent film making to recover from what is easily his worst movie.

#Boredo / #Turdman / # TheIrreverent / #21Shams / #TheMexicanAmericanBore / #SexAndLucia2

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