Clint Eastwood is one of the most respected actors in Hollywood for his undeniable talent and his long standing in an industry where it is difficult to stay current in the midst of changing fashions.
Eastwood has reached 91 years combining acting in front of the cameras with directing. And if something stands out from his long career, it has been his capacity for transformation: he became famous starring in the popular Sergio Leone spaghetti westerns and embroidering the character of Dirty Harry, a policeman who takes justice into his own hands.
With the passage of time he ventured into directing and triumphed with Sin Perdón, within the so-called twilight western and selected by Time magazine as one of the 10 best films of all time. As if that weren’t enough, Eastwood often creates the soundtracks for his films, as he has plenty of musical skills.
It can be said that this actor, director, screenwriter and producer plays all the sticks in an increasingly specialized world.
Hence, his new film, Cry Macho, leaves a bad taste in the mouth for those of us who have followed a prolific and diverse career with interest and admiration. This Eastwood, as twilight as the western himself, who earned him four Oscars in 1992, returns to direct and act, this time playing an old rodeo cowboy involved in the trouble of rescuing the son of his former employer in Mexico.
The film unfolds like the classic road movie in which a mentor-disciple relationship emerges. In addition to Eastwood and the young man who embarks on an initiatory journey, the other great protagonist is a fighting cock named Macho, a kind of pet and talisman for the adolescent.
All ingredients for a story that could be attractive: the man defeated by vicissitudes and age and the despondent boy who sees in this stranger the father figure he has not had. A plot that is not new, but that can be effective because of the emotional charge in a bumpy trip that takes them from the Mexican capital to the border with the United States, where they must say goodbye after forging a relationship with paternal filial overtones.
However, on the rocky road the film crashes due to a flimsy script, unbelievable situations, crude clichés (almost all stereotypes about Mexico appear from a gringo gaze) and, above all, a vanity on the part of Eastwood that dislocates him from his present no matter how much he tries to make up: an old man who passed the threshold of the nineties.
It is true that actors in Hollywood can afford to stretch the role of heartthrob well into the years, something that is almost unthinkable among actresses.
Eastwood himself, whose look has always been that of the tough guy with a wrinkled face, has been a seducer on and off celluloid until he reached old age. But now, in the final stretch of an existence marked by creativity and an unusual energy, it borders on pathetic to see him as an irresistible type to whom women, both mature and young, surrender.
Eastwood no longer falls into the temptation of including an erotic scene in which he would have to show his lean and bony body, but he lets himself be meekly desired like the cowboy who is back from everything and is aware of a charm that serves as a magnet to any woman that crosses his path.
This nonagenarian does not give up the idea that a very good-looking lady similar to Dolores del Río is waiting for him anxiously in a forgotten town in Mexico.
In Cry Macho, which is a failed movie in almost every respect, the cowboy gets a second chance at romance, even though he’s already with one foot in the grave. As endearing as Eastwood is, it is inevitable to imagine how impossible it would be if instead of him it was Meryl Streep (whom he fell in love with in The Bridges of Madison when he was already a mature man) who when he reached ninety would dazzle right and left .
Overall, the reviews have been inclement this time, with more than one critic lamenting that this fiasco could be their last film. For his part, Eastwood insists that he will remain at the foot of the canyon.
What is clear is that on the big screen we no longer see the seducer that he once was but the venerable grandfather that he is today. [©FIRMAS PRESS]