Cry Macho (12A)
Cry Macho (12A)
Director: Clint Eastwood
Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Mins
Cast: Clint Eastwood, Eduardo Minett, Natalia Traven, Dwight Yoakam, Fernanda Urrejola, Horacio Garcia-Rojas
Synopsis: From Warner Bros. Pictures comes director/producer Clint Eastwood’s uplifting and poignant drama “Cry Macho.” The film stars Eastwood as Mike Milo, a one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who, in 1979, takes a job from an ex-boss to bring the man’s young son home from Mexico. Forced to take the backroads on their way to Texas, the unlikely pair faces an unexpectedly challenging journey, during which the world-weary horseman finds unexpected connections and his own sense of redemption.
There had been multiple attempts to make Cry Macho prior to this adaptation, directed and starring cinema icon, Clint Eastwood. Also starring are Eduardo Minett as the young boy, Rafo, in his feature film debut, Natalia Traven [Collateral Damage (2002), TV’s Soulmates (2020)] as Marta, with Dwight Yoakam [Logan Lucky (2017), Sling Blade (1996)] as Mike’s former employer, Howard Polk. The cast also includes Fernanda Urrejola [Blue Miracle (2021), Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico (2018-20)] as Leta, and Horacio Garcia-Rojas [Netflix’s Narcos: Mexico (2018-20), TV’s La querida del Centauro (2016)] as Aurelio.
Four times Oscar winner Eastwood has directed from a screenplay by Nick Schenk and N. Richard Nash, based on the novel by Nash, set in 1978.
Clint Eastwood stars as Mike Milo, a one-time rodeo star and washed-up horse breeder who finds he must repay a favour to an ex-boss (Dwight Yoakam) and bring the man’s rebellious, teenage son (Eduardo Minett) home, away from his alcoholic, gold-digging mother, Leta (Horacio Garcia-Rojas). Mike must cross the border from Texas to Mexico and find Rafo and his cockfighting rooster, Macho. But while crossing rural Mexico on their return to Texas, the unlikely pair face an unexpectedly difficult journey pursued along the border by Leta’s henchmen and federales who are determined to stop them from crossing to the US. But eventually the duo form a lasting bond and make new friends along the way. During the road trip, the world-weary horseman tries to find his own sense of redemption through teaching the boy what it means to be a good man.
While the nonagenarian Eastwood still cuts an impressive screen presence in a cowboy hat, credibility is stretched with the plausibility of him as romantic or sexual interest to two women about forty years younger.
Eastwood and Minett have great chemistry as two travellers, bonding as they learn from each other. “You’re angry – it’s bad for you at your age,” reproaches Rafo. Yet beneath Mike’s brittle, taciturn exterior is a softy. He is basically a strong, silent type, with an ethos of good manners, family values and a fondness for animals. “This macho thing – it’s overrated,” he tells the boy.
However, despite the reflective and nostalgic aspects of the narrative, Cry Macho has awkward and caricatural representations of Mexico in the 70s.
Beautiful cinematography comes from Ben Davis [Three Billboards outside Ebbing Missouri (2017), Captain Marvel (2019)] and music is by Mark Mancina [Moana (2016)]. This is a strange kind of film with its old fashioned formulaic plot, but it is carried along by the Hollywood legend that is Clint Eastwood doing his thing and that will be enough for his many fans.
Images courtesy of: Warner Bros.