El Benny - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

El Benny Reviews

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September 2, 2008
Interesante la vida de Benny Moré.
August 27, 2008
This was the story of Benny Moré, THE most famous Cuban singer of the 1940's-60's...honestly I need to see the movie again with Spanish subtitles and commentary, as I didn't get all the dialog with the Cuban accents and there were political and social elements that I'm not quite so intimate with. Though the latter I thought would really made the film very nuanced and rich...which it certainly had in certain respects, but I was rather put off by a gratuitous sex scene and cheesy moments and many sluggish moments that should've been left on the cutting room floor I felt. I also thought the movie overall lacked a lot of emotion and never really reeled in the viewer or got us connected to the characters. The part of El Benny was well done (as was the role of his pianist bandmate Monchy), but otherwise everything else was just ok, nothing really moving.

The movie also annoyingly jumped around in time a lot, which seemed to serve no real purpose other than to "just because" and be a little artsy for the sake of being artsy? So it seems to me if the movie suffered from anything, it might have been mostly in post-production/editing. The soundtrack was fantastic, and I liked that they did end the movie with some archive footage of El Benny's funeral. Interesting to note for those "not in the know", Benny Moré was one of the only Cuban artists to stay in the Cuba after the revolution and Fidel Castro came to power. Benny came from a very humble background, and was of more "black African" descent than many artists from the Caribbean, that did cause him some problems solely based on the color of his skin...on top of his alcoholism and interpersonal/political problems. Though it wasn't overly emphasized in the movie, Moré sympathized with the Cuban Revolution (ongoing part of the movie was the distribution of anti-Batista govt pamphlets before a military coup and Fidel starting the revolution) and despite his problems, didn't allow his popularity to let him loose sight of his humble background.

oh, something I didn't mention, which was quite amusing: marijuana. How it was being circulated, hidden away...and home grown!

If the movie ever sees release on DVD, I'll check it out again...if you get a chance, go see it! Not an astounding film...it has it's good and bad points, but overall a decent bio-pic and portrayal of a figure that most non-Cubans/Latin Americans are not familiar with.
April 27, 2008
Me encanto la pelicula sobre el rey de la musica Latina.
October 1, 2007
The story was hard to follow but the music was beautiful
½ August 12, 2007
About the life and times of famous Cuban musician Benny Moré, whose Afro-Cuban jazz big band sound swept his nation in the pre-Castro fifties.
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