It is evident that Alejandro González Iñarritú is obsessed with mentalanguage. At least enough, so that there is a common thread between the references and his way of telling stories. He did it in birdman and the result was dazzling, strange and uncomfortable. Now, that element is much more evident than ever in Bardo, false chronicle of a few truths, his most atypical film now available on Netflix. Halfway between biography and the journey of personal time, the film is a narrative experiment. It is also an unclassifiable work that is sustained by singular points and, in the end, not always correct.
Silverio (Daniel Giménez Cacho) is a prominent figure in Hollywood. A renowned documentarian with more than two decades in Los Angeles and become a symbol of Mexican journalism outside its borders. However, not everything is easy for this character who goes from one place to another, in the midst of a crisis of conscience.
Much more, when he receives recognition that he does not believe he deserves and reminds him of his place of origin. that’s when Bardo, false chronicle of a few truths it becomes a strange terrain for speculation. It separates from a formal story about a man broken by the past and his aspirations to reach another stratum. At the same time, to go through an unknown place in the mind of the character. The film acts as a stage in which everything can be real and fictional at the same time. Iñarritú tells his story, but also what he imagines about it. What you want from her. What sublimates and degrades through the discomfort of memory.
Bardo, false chronicle of a few truths is a risky experiment. Both in the way and in the sense of embracing his life as a series of jumbled pieces. This is not a token homage a la Steven Spielberg’s The Fabelmans. Neither, a candid tour like James Gray’s Armageddon Time. There is much of a rudimentary practicality to memory as an art artifact.
Also, of the execution of the idea of what memory can be for the artist. Between both things, Bardo, false chronicle of a few truths, is an ingenious experiment that, in some points, loses solidity.
The world transmuted into false images
One of the great scenes Bardo, false chronicle of a few truths It takes place in the zocalo of Mexico City. Silverio immerses himself in the city as if he were swimming in it. He goes through her, remembers her, reconstructs her in her memory. This documentarian who only half evokes the country in which he was born, takes a moment of his complicated reconstruction of the past for pain.
But not only the suffering or the wonder of understanding the value of their identity as part of something more complex. Also it is a journey through Mexico as part of his life. As a fundamental element of its identity. Everything, in the middle of a journey halfway between the dreamlike and the crude.
The great autobiographical film by González Iñarritú is a risky experiment. Both in the way and in the sense of embracing her life as a series of jumbled pieces. This is not a symbolic homage to the style The Fabelmans by Steven Spielberg. Neither, an honest tour like Armageddon Time by James Gray. There is much of a rudimentary practicality to memory as an art artifact.
Also, of the execution of the idea of what memory can be for the artist. Between both things, Bardo, false chronicle of a few truths it’s an ingenious experiment that, in some points, loses solidity. Particularly, when it tries to be something more than a set of ideas that are intermingled with each other to narrate a nucleus that is not entirely clear.
Is it about the life of González Iñarritú? The parallels are more than obvious. Silverio is a figure who triumphed outside of Mexico and now returns to look at the country that was left behind. Also the man he was. Both things are combined in a poignant sensation that the film does not finish defining what tone it wishes to give to the memory.
Do you want it to be a version of good and evil, based on a dodgy narrator? The movie fails to do that most of the time. Perhaps, that Silvano is the avatar of the director in search of a fragmented and idealized past? The character, despite the splendid performance of Giménez Cacho, it does not become a symbol at all.
So what is this movie, which stretches on almost endless footage? One of the most disconcerting points is that despite the obvious parallels, Silverio is not an entirely faithful representation of Iñarritú. After all, the character story begins with the obvious. This budding film talent had to leave his home country to achieve success.
On the contrary, Iñarritú achieved success in his own language with Loves Dogs and, from then on, he built a brilliant career. But even so, the director imagines himself as a frustrated, broken, slightly alienated artist. The Silverio of Bardo, false chronicle of a few truthsHe is in search of his identity. Do you find her? The film does not make it easy, nor does it immediately. The message gravitates over the story, without showing itself at all at some point.
In the end, the great stories without meaning and without form
Perhaps one of the great problems of Bardo, false chronicle of a few truths, is the fact of linking multiple interpretations at the same time. Iñarritú wishes to recognize himself, but also for others to recognize him, support him, and understand him. Which ends up turning the film into an endless network of self-references that may or may not be false.
Either touring his native Mexico turned into a decadent scene or in the memory of the young man he was. Silverio is the epicenter of many connotations about the truth. The script fails to cover them all and ends up creating a shifting ground with a certain air of authorial work without resolution.
Sketchy, haunting, unpleasant, deeply felt, and undeniably powerful, Bardo, false chronicle of a few truthsIt’s a confusing story. One that ends up linking — although not completely — with the idea of a biography peppered with white lies. An elegant point that turns this powerful work into two looks at the truth that confront each other. So many times and in so many ways, to finally build a delirious story about a man who remembers a country that no longer exists.