Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Motorcycle Diaries

If you have ever had a chance to spend a spring afternoon with me, you’ll immediately figure out some of the goals that I have set for my life. I have a passion for travel, other cultures, and peoples. I want to see the entire world. It may seem like a lofty goal, but I have been challenged with the thought that dreams need to be big. Small dreams may be attainable, but there is nothing to truly challenge. Have big dreams and take little steps to get to those big dreams. I love writing. I keep a journal. I would really love to drive a motorcycle. This all leads to the fact that I choose the movies that I watch with my interests in mind or the interests of the people with whom I may be watching the movie. Recently, I watched the movie The Motorcycle Diaries.

The Motorcycle Diaries is a film version of a trip that Che Guevara took in his youth across South America. His restlessness for wandering the continent is relatable. They were curious about the world around them. Both of the young men were studying sciences in different forms to possibly be doctors in the future. Although circumstances of their lives had already formed them in many ways, their journey indelibly marked them forever. Their journey is mostly spent penniless. Yet, they learn of the temperament of people across their continent. The two friends are very different. Che aptly states, “This isn’t a tale of heroics, nor is it merely some kind of cynical account; it isn’t meant to be, at least. It’s a chunk of two lives running parallel for a while, with common aspirations and similar dreams.”

Throughout the movie, these young men deal with the cruel realities of the world first hand. They see people thrown off their land by the government and forced to work in the mines with no sustenance. In each of these different situations, Che and his friend are called subtly to aid the people that they see. The men began the journey for adventure. They end the journey with an entirely different view upon the world. Growth occurred. With growth comes the necessity of acting upon the new knowledge or fighting to fall back to the blissful ignorance known before.

In my opinion, The Motorcycle Diaries is full of merit solely in the fact that it embraces the reality of life. There was nothing airbrushed or perfected in this movie. It illustrated the harsh existence of the world. The main characters were real with faults and problems. One built with an integrity that seemed to be a fault of its own and the other with a tongue so silver that no one would catch it for what it was. Although there was no obvious climax and turning point throughout the movie, there is a subtle change within each of the main characters that cries out for a more defined ending to the movie. This movie was refreshing in its complete lack of Hollywood glitter. Life is a series of events that slowly but steadily influence one’s perspective on the world.

This movie had it all. After all, it had my motorcycle. There was thinking (I may not have mentioned it before, but I am definitely a sucker for a good thinking and introspective movie). I absolutely adore the South American culture. Of course, there were adventures and I got to travel across the continent with these Argentinean boys. It was an adventure. Perhaps it’s not something one would watch a million times over, it definitely contains gems of truth that could be harvested in one viewing. However, it does make me want to buy a motorcycle and go cycling across the USA.