Director Pablo Larrain is a busy man, having directed both Jackie and this, a beautiful and creative look at the life of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco).
The film isn’t a biopic in the traditional sense in that it mixes fact and large doses of fiction as it creates an investigator character (Gael Garcia Bernal) in search of Neruda after he’s gone into hiding for being a communist.
The film is faithful to the real story of Neruda in showing some of his actions before going into hiding and while he’s fleeing, but it becomes something altogether different when the Bernal character is on screen. It plays with the notion of his character in ways that break the fourth wall, and it’s impressive.
Bernal gets a chance to truly shine in his role, as does Gnecco. There wasn’t a lot written about Larrain last year, but he, along with the great Jeff Nichols, deserves extra kudos for delivering not one but two exemplary movies in 2016. The ending of this film is one of the year’s best.