Starring: Eman Xar Oña, Limara Meneses, Mario Guerra
Director: Tono Errando
Running Time: 94 mins
Chico And Rita is a Spanish film that follows the life of two young Cuban musicians who, brought together by the beauty of music, fall in love at the beginning of their careers, however the trials of international fame and success lead them to be torn apart.
This is a hugely engrossing film. The animation may seem a bit odd at first for a story that is so deep and emotional, but within 5 minutes, you’re absorbed into this world for one of the most uplifting and simultaneously heartbreaking journeys in film.
And one of the best things about this film is that it starts off very quickly, and remains fast-paced and punchy for the whole duration. You’ve got this very simple boy-meets-girl story on top, but beneath all of that, there’s this amazing mix of complex emotions that cause their relationship to be so troubled and unpredictable.
While it is effectively the story of a normal romance drama in the opening stages, once the factor of fame comes into play, it changes the whole make-up of the story. Initially, you have a level playing field with Chico and Rita, however as one grows significantly more successful than the other, it becomes a story of both unrequited love as well as social classes obstructing their romance.
The two main characters are absolutely fascinating to follow along, and they share so many common traits, but seems so conflicting at the same time, and that does leave you as the viewer in a strong dilemma throughout the film as to who’s in the right and who’s in the wrong during the ups and downs of their relationship, which becomes incredibly intriguing.
Meanwhile, the historical context of this film is also fascinating. It seems to be largely set in the late 1940s, however it ultimately bleeds into the late 50s, which gives you a whole heap of historical stories including the Cuban Revolution and racial segregation in the United States.
Away from the fantastic story, there are so many other aspects of this film that are beautiful. The music is stunningly emotional and striking, while the animation, although it seems like a cross between traditional animation and a computer game, is not only great to look at, but gives the film quite a fantastical feel to it, so overall, this gets an 8.0.