The Motorcycle Diaries

“Che Guevara is an inspiration for anyone who loves freedom”- Nelson Mandela Ernesto `Che` Guevara was a Marxist revolutionary who played an important role in the freedom of Cuba. He is a cultural phenomenon world over and a symbol of valor and compassion.


The 2004 film, The Motorcycle Diaries, is an on-screen adaptation of the book by the same name. The book is a collection of memoirs of the 23- year old Ernesto Che Guevara during his trip across south America with his friend, Alberto Granado. Just three assignments away from receiving his MD degree, Ernesto is persuaded by his biochemist friend Alberto to leave the monotony of their daily lives and explore the true spirit of Latin America . He plans an adventurous trip across south America crossing the boundaries of Andes, coast of Chile, across the Atacama desert, pervurian Amazon and finally Venezuela. The first-hand experience of traveling beyond the boundaries of his homeland excites Che and he agrees. Then they start their journey with the purpose of pure fun but they end up traveling to the dark side of reality. Che was shattered by the social injustice to the people caused by the horrors of capitalism. The trip morphs Che and brings the dawn of revolutionary spirit inside him.


The roller coaster film never makes one dizzy at any moment. Che and Alberto’s restlessness, fighting spirit, philanthropism, survival techniques and egalitarian minds is a treat to watch. Few scenes truly mesmerize you: The way Che soothes a dying woman by his fingers, his crossing the river Amazon in chilly cold temperature to celebrate his birthday with lepers and Che criticizing professor’s writing skills.


Mexican actor Gael Garcia gives his best performance till date in this film as Che Guevara. His charm and eyes filled with revolution relive the mortal Che Guevara. Rodrigo de la Serna infused energy into the character of Alberto Granado by his flawless performance. A special accolade to Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles for capturing the true human spirit and bring the legendary Che Guevara alive onscreen .Gustavo Santaolalla’s music is melodious. Jorge Drexler received the Oscar award for best original song ‘Al otro lado del río.’ The background score plays cadence with the film. The cinematography captivates the beauty of Latin America in its true form. The locations of the film are breathtaking. Eric Gautier did a great camerawork.


This film is a much watch for everyone. People are lost in the scaffolds of their busy lives and often fail to understand the beauty of life. They never face the true realities of life, i.e. the social problems that invade the not-so privileged. This film changed my perception towards life. I have seen many films till now but no film had the kind of impact that The Motorcycle Diaries did. It blends entertainment with core message that life ought to be lived to the fullest one must try to become a catalyst in bringing about a difference in people’s life


As Che writes in his diary at the start of the journey –“I am glad to have left behind civilization and be closer to earth”.


It’s time to face the true melody of life.

Vikash Kumar

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