“BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths” officially streamed on Netflix in 2022. (same year Everything Everywhere All at Once came out) It received mixed reviews from critics and streamers alike. As a fan of Alejandro “Al” González Iñárritu’s work, I wanna share my tonight’s on his latest film before The Golden Globes air on January 10th, 2023. Although BARDO isn’t nominated for “Best International Film,” it’s one of my favorite films of 2022.
This review contains no SPOILERS. Feel free to read my non-spoiler article.
Believable & Unbelievable Qualities
Believable: Alejandro “Al” González Iñárritu (21 Grams, Babel, Birdman, The Revenant) did an amazing job writing, produced, editing and directing his seventh film.
Daniel Giménez Cacho did an excellent job for his performance.
The Story focuses on a Mexican journalist named, Silverio Gama who goes through an existential crisis. He experiences strange visions reflecting his life and career.
BARDO’s basically a spiritual successor to Federico Fellini’s “8½.” Both films focus on a man who go through an existential crisis experiencing surreal moments as they come to terms with their pasts and present lives.
Cinematography captures an in-depth immersive experience making you feel like you’re tagging along with Silverio witnessing bizarre events.
Primary Themes are Existential Crisis, Nostalgia, Loss, Culture, Family & Identity. Each one’s handled maturely.
Visual Effects brought Silverio’s visions to life.
This is the second time David Bowie’s “Let’s Dance is played in one scene. Also used in “Top Gun: Maverick.”
The film’s title means a spiritual state between death and rebirth in Buddhism.
Opening Scene officially establishes what you’re about to see, indicates BARDO’s gonna be strange. In a good way.
The Tone balances between seriousness and comedy.
Mac Miller’s “Everybody” is played in Lorenzo’s room. Perhaps Al’s a fan of the late rapper. If Mac were alive today, he would’ve praise BARDO. I’m giving Al an Extra Point for including Mac’s music.
Towards the end, I fully realize Silverio’s bizarre visions. I won’t give away, you’ll have to see for yourself. Without giving anything away, The Ending’s open to interpretation.
Unbelievable: Pacing can be a drab. If you have a short attention span, you’re gonna be bored. At least it’s not painfully full as in “Avatar: The Way of Water.”
The Final Verdict: A-
Despite divisive reactions, I thoroughly enjoyed Alejandro González Iñárritu epic comedy-drama. As I’ve mentioned on my editorial ranking the Top 12 Best Films of 2022, BARRO is my 12th pick. I wonder what Mr. Iñárritu’s next film is gonna be? Maybe another film set in Mexico or another international epic like “Babel?” We shall see.