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Libertador
Year:
2013
Country:
Spain, Venezuela
Genre:
Drama, Biography, History
IMDB rating:
7.1
Director:
Alberto Arvelo
Édgar Ramírez as Simon Bolivar (as Édgar Ramírez)
Luis Jaspe as Aide de Camp
Dacio Caballero as Soldado irlandes
Jon Bermúdez as Spanish Officer
Marta Benvenuty as Voice Over (as Marta García de Polavieja)
Leandro Arvelo as Fernando
Francisco Denis as Simón Rodriguez
Imanol Arias as Juan Domingo de Monteverde
Jesus Guevara as Messenger
Danny Huston as Torkington
María Valverde as Maria Teresa Bolivar
Juana Acosta as Manuela Sáenz
Alejandro Furth as Urdaneta
Erich Wildpret as Antonio Jose de Sucre
Storyline: Simon Bolivar fought over 100 battles against the Spanish Empire in South America. He rode over 70,000 miles on horseback. His military campaigns covered twice the territory of Alexander the Great. His army never conquered -- it liberated.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
HQ DVD-rip 720x304 px 1410 Mb mpeg4 1662 Kbps avi Download
Reviews
Liberating
After playing Carlos Edgar Ramirez takes on another historical figure. He's doing a great job again with this one, showing off more sides than one of a man who was very important. In Europe we might not have heard of him, which is why they compare his achievements with those of Alexander the Great. Different times and different possibilities of course are a bit of deal breaker in this comparison. But still, mostly doing positive things, should be acknowledged.

Having said that, we do have more than drama here, but less controversy (if you think Oliver Stones Alexander) in some respects. The fight or war scenes are shot nicely, as is the whole movie. Very good acting and neatly outlined story development help too. Not only for historian buffs, but anyone who loves a good story
2016-02-08
A Flawed Visual Spectacle to Nineteenth Century South America
Historical drama in Latin American cinema has experienced a comeback in recent years (Morelos, 5 de Mayo, The Conquest) with mostly disastrous results, as the ambition of these projects rarely is met with adequate resources or talent. This film is somewhat of an exception. The most expensive South American film made to date, The Liberator cannot be accused of being unambitious. The 50 million dollar production deserves to be seen if for no other reason than to find out how the money was spent. Venezuelan director Albert Arvelo spared no expense in creating spectacular sets that recreate Madrid, Paris, Bogota, and Caracas, among other cities, and in mobilizing armies of extras to re-stage 19th century battles. The result is convincing. The camera-work and cinematography of Xavi Gimenez (The Machinist, Agora) is equally first class, whether it is drone-shot aerial vistas of the snow-capped Sierra Nevada or hand-held following a fleet of canoes over the Orinoco river. The score, by the phenomenally talented Gustavo Dudamel, elevates the visuals and, while mostly conventional, punctuates orchestral lushness with Amerindian instrumentation much like in Moriccone's The Mission.

If only the script were on the same level. Part biopic and part cinematic history lesson, the film ties to capture almost the entirety of Simon Bolivar's life in under two hours. Instead of choosing a slice of the life of one of the most complex historical figures of the nineteenth century, as Spielberg's Lincoln did effectively, Arvelo foolishly tried to rush us through his entire career, from his time as a young landowner, to a dilettante in Paris, to an almost Moses-like figure liberating an entire continent. Such ambition is nearly impossible to pull off, and what we get is a Wikipedia-like biography on celluloid. We follow Bolivar around without ever understanding motives, emotional or political. The narrative devices are equally problematic. Forced, unnatural dialogue is mixed with shots of Bolivar penning letters while we hear unconvincing voice-overs in Spanish, English and French. As the movie progresses, the less time the director has in explaining the historic or personal issues, and mere minutes are spent in political battles that lasted years. During the last half hour, the film opts for slogans, name-calling and unashamed hero worship.

Edgar Ramirez, who was riveting in Assaya's Carlos, plays the title character and doesn't quite know what to do with the role. He has a screen presence, but he cannot do much with a film has little time for character development. Ramirez is most comfortable in the early scenes, as a sorrowful young widower, but the progression from aristocratic landowner to military commander and towering political leader is unconvincing and he becomes increasingly unlikable. The English banker Torkington (the great Danny Huston), is the only other memorable character, but later in the film is turned into a capitalist-cartoon villain that seems like something out of a propagandist's imagination.

Arvelo, the director, confessed in a Variety interview that "screenwriting is quite possibly the weakest element in Latin American filmmaking." How could I disagree? Still, the accomplishments of the film are undeniable. The film is a visual spectacle, best seen in a large screen, and at the very least left me wanting for someone else to try a real character study of Bolivar.
2015-04-01
Best historical drama in a long time
This is one of the most interesting historical dramas in recent memory - with particular relevance to the USA's current predicament - albeit our oppressors are global multinational companies who have no conventional nationalistic affiliations. The histories of men like Simon Bolivar and Che Guevara bear much scrutiny for the citizens of the USA today - because they were both born of a privileged society, but were driven by their consciences to work against the established power of their era. The one lesson to be learned by the two is that one must steer a very narrow path between collaboration and revolution to be successful, lest one become the tool of the current establishment or the tool of the establishment to be.

Watching this tempts me to compare and contrast with another of America's much-loved founding fathers, George Washington. If you look at the details of their achievement, for better or worse - one wonders how much of their legacy derives from the fact that although both were born into power and privilege - one ended up the richest North American of the day and the owner of numerous slaves and slave employing interests, and the other ended up dead under suspicious circumstances after having clearly declared himself a true champion of the average person - of any race.
2015-05-20
Gran Mariscal de Ayacucho next?
Very good movie. Edgar Ramirez is the best Simon Bolivar since Mariano Alvarez (RIP). It's a movie I would own and watch again and recommend it to anyone that wants to learn about this great man and/or sit and enjoy a movie. The photography and design are superb. I felt that Bolivar's struggles were palpable and moving. They should have made it a longer, two-part movie if you ask me. The only thing that I didn't understand much was the final scene. I guess the director just wanted to get artistic, or give it a little twist. Anyone that has read or studied Bolivar, as any Venezuelan has or should, will know what I'm talking about.

Antonio Jose de Sucre needs a whole movie of his own.
2015-10-02
Realistic
I am not much of a history person and I don't often watch biographic movies but Simon Bolivar is one of the most interesting historical figures so I've made sure not to miss out on this one.

I've enjoyed the movie a lot from the beginning to its end. While at some points I felt the movie was a bit stretched out, that is the only complaint I am gonna have. The landscapes used for filming were beautiful, the costumes, make-up and hairdo looked so realistic and reminiscent of that era I was quite surprised, the plot had enough twists and turns and, most importantly, the acting was superb. I loved the way Simon Bolivar and his peers were portrayed and the constant inner battle of the legendary general and later president that was shown throughout the movie. This film was all about the man that he was and the man he became hardened through loss and war.
2015-02-28
Not all was bad
Although I've heard this movie was around about a year ago, I didn't give it a try until I read somewhere that it was nominated for an Oscar in foreign film category so, I thought that it might worth the time. Well, not so much. Let's beging by saying that the casting of the main character just failed to convince in every possible way. Any one who had ever seen a portrait of Simon Bolivar can appreciate that. The actor looks are way too caribbean for a man who supposedly was born from European anscestors, father and mother both spaniards. The actor matches none of the physical features attributed to the historical figure who was 5 feet tall and weighted around 60 pounds. Watching Reamirez play Bolivar is like watching Adam Sandler playing Bonaparte. You just can't get pass the fact that you are watching a guy who's attempting to play somebody else. The same also happens with other key characters in the plot. On top of that, the acting is quite stiff. Most of the actors, including and specially Ramirez, seem to be reciting the lines in a school play, just rushing through the words without investing any emotions. Being Bolivar the great thinker as history claims he was, it is amusing to notice that the script does not conveys that eloquence and sometimes the dialogs don't even make sense, except for the very few moments in which is obvious the lines are extracted verbatim from historical research and those words result inspiring in their own right and not because the actor manages to awaken the emotions of the spectator. On the technical aspects, I like the photography and scenography; vestuary was nice too, and the effects in general are satisfaying enough. In short, I think you need to be south American and more particularly, a venezuelan national to overlook its many flaws and to watch this film with tender eyes, which is regretful as Bolivar is one of the greatest figures in universal history whose thoughts and actions changed the course of an entire continent and had a huge impact on others. A life story that definitely deserves to be told and known in a more dignified way.
2014-12-24
impressive
one of films who impress first for the great ambition to present a complex story in its details, nuances and profound senses. than - for the right manner to do it. because it has romanticism, fight scenes, political confrontations, portrait of hero and aspects who defines the vulnerabilities of a man. it is a homage and many idealistic scenes are easy to be criticize. it is a manifesto and the purpose is far to be ignored. but, more important, it is a spectacular work who escapes from the temptation of easy ways. Edgar Ramirez does a credible Bolivar and that is the key to understand the man behind the great leader. a film who impress . not only for the image or the battle scenes, for the idealism and for the coherent story but for the feeling after its end. because it is little more than a romantic picture or a biopic with ambition of blockbuster. it is a story who reminds the books from childhood . and that is enough for ignore the detail than the real Simon Bolivar was more than the hero, his errors and sins and vision about the way to impose his project being more complex than the film presents. but, in fact, it is one of the good points of film - the invitation to discover El Libertador more profound.
2016-06-18
Sweeping and engaging as a film, episodic and disconnected as history
When "2001: A Space Odyssey" came out, some of us spent long hours discussing the meaning of the disjointed ending. Then I read the novel and discovered that the ending made perfect, even banal, sense; it was just that Kubrick had cut away the connecting logic and left us with isolated images. Something similar happens in this attempt to transpose Bolivar's epic struggle to two hours on-screen; incidents appear with no clear reason or subsequent implication. Danny Huston, compelling and charming as always, appears initially as an Englishman whose role seems central, only to disappear for most of the film after a few scenes. And when he does reappear, it is implied (quite counter-historically) that he had something to do with a famous attack on Bolivar's life. Or maybe not, since transitions are not this film's strong point. The memorable Manuela Saenz appears all at once but is never even named and it is only AFTER the attack in question that we hear a brief mention of her courage - with no hint that she in fact may have saved Bolivar's life, earning her the nickname "The Liberator of the Liberator". We briefly see Sucre close-up before he gets lost in the subsequent crowd of faces, so that when news comes of his assassination (with no hint that it was probably one of Bolivar's own officers who arranged it) we see Bolivar upset, but with no clear idea of why (still less that Bolivar supposedly cried out, "They have slain Abel!" foreseeing the impact it would have on the movement's hopes). Basically, if you do not already know much of this story, you may be swept up in the panoramic battles, the personal conflicts and some very erotic moments, but you won't really follow what's going on. If you do know it, you will be frustrated by how key events are given equal weight with some which may not even have happened (notably the end, which corresponds to no documented reality I know of). It does not help that the film lingers early on on what is essentially back story, wasting valuable screen time on what is apparently meant to be character development, but ultimately slows and clutters a story that needs far more delineation. Will you enjoy the film? If you like pageantry and passion, very likely. Will you come away much more informed about important historical events, or a complex figure, than if you had watched a completely fictional costumed drama? Not really.
2017-09-16
Just a bit of knowledge about a great man that perhaps was wrong
Been born in Argentina, Jose de San Martin was the main historical hero and LIBERATOR ; however Simon Bolivar was many times mentioned in History class on their meeting in Guayaquil Ecuador, where Bolivar took over to San Martin's campaign to the north and liberated rest of Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia and somehow Venezuela. It is quite strange that that important meeting is never mention in the movie; as it is the creation of Bolivia in his honor and some details about his dead that do not look too accurate. The Libertador is interesting because it shows you some dark details not explained in school. It has pretty decent production values and very well know actors but the movie is sometimes more interested in the person than the history and sometimes the opposite; so by the end we just learn a very little about Bolivar and other heroes like Sucre.

In brief; worth seeing but not a must
2015-04-17
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