REVIEW – “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths”

It’s Bardo time baby!

“Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” is written and directed by Alejandro G. Iñárritu and stars Daniel Giménez Cacho and Griselda Siciliani. It tells the story of a journalist/documentarian who returns to his native country of Mexico and begins having an existential crisis in the form of dreamlike visions. It has been six long years since an Iñárritu film has graced the silver screen and comes not so hot off the heels of his 2015 epic “The Revenant”. Needless to say, “Bardo” was one of my most anticipated films of the year and it did not disappoint. “Bardo” is a breathtaking dream-like odyssey into the mind of one of our best working filmmakers. Iñárritu crafts an unflinching look into an artist, warts and all. This strikingly cynical, honest, and surreal character study is packed to the brim with dazzling sequence after dazzling sequence. With stunning cinematography and incredibly thoughtful writing, we get to see a filmmaker unrestrained. “Bardo” is a playful autobiography grappling with life’s big questions and inner turmoil, joining the likes of “8 1/2” and “All That Jazz”.

Iñárritu sores here and delivers another expertly crafted film. The second it began I had a massive sigh of relief as you can instantly tell you’re in the hands of a true master. Iñárritu creates vivid cinematic images packed full of detail and care. We also see him at his most introspective. Building on themes present in his past work, we see our director grappling with his own vanity, hypocrisy, and weakness. Struggling with his relationship with to Mexico and the United States as well as his success as an artist, we get to see a filmmaker really hate himself up on the big screen. He seems to be really going through it with this one, and while Iñárritu is seemingly able to make peace with those issues at a certain point in the film, he examines these themes with a real cynical lense. That’s not to say this film is a huge downer, quite the contrary. “Bardo” is also a surreal comedic romp, juggling the heavy themes with an absurdist comedic tone. A real trip for an audience, Iñárritu presents a narrative that is alive and never predictable.

To say the filmmaking on display is impressive would be redundant. Yet again Iñárritu and company deliver incredible set pieces with precision and scale only found in those at the height of their industry. A true epic, “Bardo” is a masterclass in staging, framing, camera work, lighting, and visual storytelling. All I can do is gush about this film, and while the narrative is meandering and often more concerned with its themes than its story, it’s full of emotion, nuance, and a true love for cinema. Long Live Iñárritu.

In short, “Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” is yet another masterpiece from Alejandro G. Iñárritu.


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