Not long ago a well-known Mexican meme page shared a graphic joke in which a world map could be seen displayed with the following text: "Countries where people are scared of open relationships, but all are unfaithful."
Shaded in green, a single country stood out above the rest: Mexico.
Although the joke would serve to speak of double morals in any part of the globe, in a certain way it is also an observation that conveys the reality addressed by the latest Clint Eastwood film.
With a title that anticipates a comedy about the latest crisis of masculinity,
tells the story of the character played by Eastwood himself: Mike Malo, a retired rodeo star who accepts an order from his former boss to bring his son from back home from Mexico, where he resides with his mother. After a few minutes, a subtle scene absorbs any reading of the plot: the son to be recovered, in the first phase of his adolescence, confesses the shame caused by the sexual life of his mother, Leta, played by the Chilean Fernanda Urrejola. And here's one of the reasons he wants to run away from her with his father. Now, what is the origin of that shame? In what context and why does a child feel that what his mother does is wrong?
Leta drinks. Leta sleeps with whoever she wants. Leta considers her son lost. Leta is an absent mother. Leta, in short, constitutes a villain par excellence, with an unpleasant life in Mexico or the United States or wherever, precisely because Leta behaves like a man. In the distance, echoes of Nora, the protagonist of
House, a revolutionary and scandalous character in the history of the theater who makes the decision to abandon her husband and children and dedicate herself. So, a seed of both fascination and terror among other men, the character of the bad mother raises a question as funny as it is mischievous: is it possible that Leta is the real macho in this movie?
and from the
in poetry to current reggaeton or
that moves the henhouse of masculinity is often the same: a woman who does whatever she wants, or a man who is afraid of a woman who does what she wants. And hence some of the macho tears that water this film, which delves into the current crisis of the hegemonic model of virility, already dealt with by other recent titles, from
But Macho is also the name of the fighting rooster that serves as a pet for Rafo, the boy wanted by Mike Milo, who revolts against his domestic reality by becoming a man in the Mexican night. In addition to cockfighting, Rafo drinks tequila and dreams of riding a horse in a rodeo, which is why he finds in old Mike a role model, even though he is no longer more than a specter of what. it was. Eastwood presents this young man as a source of other people's shame. But if Rafo's violent and self-conscious behaviors embarrass us, why would they seem exemplary in an adult? However, Rafo evolves into a charismatic and endearing character, and in that psychological arc the film deals with a peculiar paradox of human comedy: even for the most embarrassing men we come to feel a certain affection.Or a great affection. As is the case with Mike himself, the quintessential upright and moral man, whom we pity for accepting the commission of a former boss whom he detests, scrupulous and firm in the face of the temptations of the flesh, loyal to the woman of whom he was widowed, and, finally , fragile and vulnerable if you experience love.
The moral beauty of the film is found in the contrast between the two models of couples we witness. On the one hand, Leta and Howard embody the failure of a marriage that devours itself because of property: they fight for Rafo, but also for the patrimony that must be shared. In front of them, Mike feels a new love again at the end of his life ("A second time - as Sappho once wrote - I have longed for / passion"). Marta, a widowed woman who helps and protects those who flee, experiences a mutual crush on the character played by Clint Eastwood. And while the two dance, we hear a song by Los Panchos that gives a certain hope in this desert of broken lives and disappointments that pile up under the flight of crows. "I do not pretend to be your owner / I am nothing, I have no vanity",say the verses of
Taste of me
A genuine love without a lock and yet forever.
Released in theaters yesterday.
Antonio J. Rodríguez is a journalist and writer, author of the essay
La nueva masculinidad de siempre
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