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In the late 1950s, a British hireling is sent to Cuba to train Batista's army. They must be trained to fight Castro's army. While there, the Brit encounters an old love, who is married. While Castro's army wins more and more, their love revives.Written by
R. Kessen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Fascinating backdrop but an ultimately disappointing film
This drama/love story could have been excellent. Played out against the last months of the corrupt and US/UK-supported Batista regime, the collapse of the old society as Castro's fidelistas begin to take over is shown compellingly. The point is well made that a revolution will only succeed if the people are behind it which, in this instance, they clearly were.
It's a shame that the movie couldn't have been filmed in Cuba, as of course all the famous landmarks of Havana are missing, but its real problems are threefold.
Firstly the storyline is confusing, complicated and unconvincing, with none of the characters being allowed to hold one's attention.
Secondly, the acting is poor. Even Sean Connery - who is normally excellent - seems to have had his mind on other things the whole time.
And thirdly, for some inexplicable reason, the chanting of 'Fidel' as Castro enters Havana in triumph morphs into a Nazi crowd chanting 'Sieg Heil'. Whatever was this trying to say? When Castro actually came into power, one of the first things he did was to open all the 'whites-only' clubs to black people, and to make it clear in an early speech that there was no such thing as a superior race. To liken Castro to Hitler is a travesty of the facts.
So, ultimately a flawed film. Watch it not for the story or the 'message' but for what is going on in the background.
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