You really really want to like this movie. And you’re never far from it. With cameos by Chaplin and Sinatra, this film has the nostalgic period piece potential that we all saw achieved by 2011’s Hugo. But here I wanted to laugh more and I wanted to learn more about the man himself. While it did provide depth into Moreno’s issues with his marriage and friendships, it could have expressed the inner struggles he had with his identity and trying to separate himself from his alter-ego character. I would have liked to see them juxtapose Moreno’s Cantinflas with Mario, the man. It failed to give Cantinflas the depth he deserved.
I like what they did with the back and forth between English and Spanish, but the pacing was a little TOO quick and a lot of details get lost in the story. It would have almost been more effective if they used more linear storytelling, while still concluding with Michael Todd’s Around the World in 80 Days.
While it also acts as an insightful commentary on the studio system, it partially neglects this B plot, turning it into just another unfulfilled element. However, I do applaud the consistently corny tone–which parallels Cantinflas’ whole demeanor. It demands that our attention be brought into the film universe and provides us with a convincingly vintage feel.
Although it may look nice and the plot points provided are intriguing, the rushed storytelling, in turn, leaves us with the anticlimactic 3rd act, where you leave wanting to feel more fulfilled than you end up feeling.
Twizard Rating: 73