First the good – Benicio is simply mesmerizing in his portrayal. Soderbergh crafts the film in an effective way, and the supporting characters provide convincing and memorable performances (helpful when trying to keep everyone straight in your head). The challenge, however, is that the first half of the flick (basically the first movie), telling the tale of Cuba and the rise of Che and Castro, is so compelling, so richly drawn and performed, that the Bolivian scenes of Che’s descent are an inevitable disappointment.

The screening had both halves of the tale stuck together with a brief intermission (each is dubbed, apparently, The Argentinian and The Guerrilla respectively, although we had no credits at all). This break further emphasized the fact that the first portion was far more of an enjoyable, accessible film than the latter half. Still, taken together, this epic tale is an insightful, audacious film, lovingly shot and quite astonishing in its scope. A commendable effort, and if not a total success, still certainly a worthwhile film to visit.