The Dancer Upstairs

The Dancer Upstairs

DVD - 2003
Average Rating:
6
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MPAA rating: R; for strong violence and for language.
As a Latin American nation nears collapse, idealistic policeman Agustin Rejas faces his greatest challenge: to catch the mysterious terrorist leader Ezequiel. Mass panic sets in as the terrorist attacks become more ferocious, and Rejas finds himself drawn to Yolanda, his daughter's beautiful ballet teacher. As the search for Ezequil comes nearer, he and Yolanda must choose between love, country or self.

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e
empbee
Feb 27, 2016

Slow but good. Javier Bardem is as good as always.

u
uncommonreader
Dec 20, 2014

This is a very good thriller, well acted about Latin American politics and the Shining Path of Peru. It is based on a book by Nicholas Shakespeare.

n
Nursebob
Dec 13, 2014

In an unspecified Latin American country Agustín Rejas, an idealistic police detective, is assigned to hunt down Ezequiel, the charismatic leader of a homegrown terrorist cell. Using children and rural peasants as his foot soldiers, Ezequiel has been waging war against the government through domestic sabotage and an increasingly bold series of assassinations which threaten to topple the state’s already tenuous democracy. But hunting down the murderous anarchist proves to be all but impossible for Rejas and his team for despite the absence of an official revolutionary manifesto (Ezequiel’s “platform” consists of little more than fiery Communist jingles) his followers seem to be everywhere. Frustrated at every turn the married Rejas finds some chaste comfort in the company of his daughter’s ballet teacher, a quiet and fragile woman who, in Agustín’s eyes, will eventually come to symbolize both the beautiful potential and tragic disillusionment of his country. Loosely based on the story of Peru’s “Shining Path” insurgency, John Malkovich’s dreamy noir policier, filmed in English, features an outstanding cast of Latin stars set against a nicely framed backdrop of generic palm trees, red-tiled roofs, and junta brass (actually an amalgamation of Spanish, Portuguese, and Ecuadorian locales). Although it works as a straight-up thriller there are great depths here, both political and psychological, as Malkovich examines the fractured mindset of a society in transition; while Ezequiel’s followers mindlessly parrot their leaders’ nihilistic slogans Agustín’s wife agonizes over whether or not to get a nose job, and the ruling government all too quickly decides to impose martial law...yet again. Despite an unnecessarily murky plot and some prolonged navel-gazing, Dancer still proved to be an intelligent and wonderfully stylized piece of filmmaking.

d2013 Dec 02, 2013

I really liked this movie. Very engaging!

a
Adelheid
Oct 06, 2013

Very good and believable, loved it.

m
movie20
Aug 15, 2012

An excellent movie directed by John Malkovich. The acting and the cinematography are superb. It is a gripping movie. The Extras about the movie are very interesting

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