Archive for November, 2011

03
Nov
11

Nacho Libre: A film of Hope

I wrote this “review” a while ago and decided to finally post.


Image ©2006 Paramount Pictures

I was watching a “classic” movie Nacho Libre last night Produced by Jack Black, Directed by Jared Hess written by Jared Hess, Jerusha Hess and Mike White. I have fond memories of watching this movie with my son Caden in the hospital or at home as he was recovering from his chemotherapy’s. Nacho Libre at first seems to be just another fun shallow comedy with Jack Black (Nacho). I loved the cinematography, the fun accents and the kitschy feel. There is this gorgeous aqua blue and cadmium red throughout the film. It makes me wish I was painting again. Last night something made me love this flick even more.

This revelation hits me while the frames are rolling. This is a movie about hope! In all its hyped up silliness the movie is about hope, and it is beautiful. Yes, even proudly I say it; “Nacho Libre is a stunning film!”

The basic plot is about a child who grows up in an orphanage. His mother was a Protestant missionary to Mexico and his father was a Catholic Priest who besides trying convert each other manage to have a son before they both die. Nacho their son is raised in a Catholic orphanage. The credits roll as he tries to act like a luchadore and is humiliated once he has been caught by the priests. As he grows he cannot stop thinking about finding his place in the world and his passion for Mexican wrestling. He draws sketches of his costume if he was a wrestler during mass. Eventually he meets a homeless person (Esqueleto played by Héctor Jiménez) in the alley trying to steel the orphans chips, and he fights him for the bag. With the recent arrival to the orphanage of Encarnación the peaceful, beautiful sister and the harassment by the other brothers for his lack of cooking skills, Nacho decides to act on his dream of Lucha libre. He finds Esqueleto the chip thief and gets him to agree to team up with him in the ring. They lose badly, but make some money and they are hooked. Nacho brings back a salad for orphans to their delight. Eventually, Nacho wants to become more and more like the professional luchadores. He is hiding his identity and sneaking out late to wrestle. His joy turns to frustration as he is starting to slip in his help for the orphans. An opportunity comes up that the winner of many wrestlers would fight Rames (Cesar Gonzalez) the best luchador and would become a professional wrestler and win a substantial amount of money. When he asks Sister Encarnación (Ana de la Reguera) what she thinks he should do, she says that God would honor a person if they were doing something for the right reason. Nacho is shown praying at the front of the chapel. He prays that if God will only let him win this match, that he will give any money he wins to help the orphans. As he is praying the candles catch his robe on fire. He runs out of the church screaming and his clothes on fire. He rolls to put out the flames. When he stands up, his simple brown tunic has been burned off the bottom half of him revealing his colorful aqua and red “stretchy pants” that he wears to wrestle. Everyone is shocked by this site and Nacho claims that he is “Nacho the luchadore”. The anger from the brothers come in claims of sin with icy stares. Nacho states that he will go and he will fight and he will win, because God is with him in the ring. He states that when he wins he will by a bus for the orphans, so they can go on field trips and “stuff”. He gallops off to fight and comes home dejected from being the runner up to the winner the Emperor. He is kicked out of the orphanage, and as he is about to leave his small friend Chancho (Darius Rose) asks him where he will go. Nacho says he doesn’t know as there is no place for him at the orphanage and there is no place for him in the world. Chancho gives him a machette to help Nacho as he goes into the wilderness. After a short time, Esqueleto comes to give him a message that the Emperor has been injured and cannot fight Ramses. Nacho decides to come out of retirement to wrestle. Esqueleto has asked Nacho before, “Do you think we’ll win?”
Nacho replied, “I do not know, but I hope so.” He is very nervous about fighting Ramses and does his best, but he is loosing badly and it looks to be over for Nacho as Sister Encarnación and the masked orphans walk into the stadium. Nacho’s hope is restored, and his faith and courage return. He begins to subdue Ramses as the slow motion continues, he wins with an aerial swan leap from the ropes to the retreating luchador and a three second pin.

The orphans bus is decked out in bright luchador paintings as it travels down the road. Out the door of the bus Nacho the aqua clothed luchador priest, Sister Encarnación and the orphans proceed up the steps of their next tour destination.


Image ©2006 Paramount Pictures

Click on Pictures for More images:

Still of Jack Black and Ana de la Reguera in Nacho LibreStill of Jack Black in Nacho LibreStill of Jack Black in Nacho Libre
Image ©2006 Paramount Pictures

Image ©2006 Paramount Pictures

Article ©2011 Darin M. White

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