The Dancer Upstairs - A Graceful Debut

2006-03-30 11:54

As a Latin American nation nears collapse under a highly organized terrorist movement, idealistic policeman Agustin Rejas (Javier Bardem) faces the greatest challenge of his career: to catch the mysterious guerilla leader Ezequiel.

The brains behind the bloody revolution that threatens to bring the government and entire country down, Ezequiel is as elusive as Rejas' superiors are corrupt - an irony not lost on Rejas, who left his career as a lawyer to try to find "a more honourable way of practicing the law."

The military's response to the brutal tactics of Ezequiel's followers is equally ferocious, creating an atmosphere of mass panic. In the midst of the chaos, Rejas finds respite in Yolanda (Laura Morante), his daughter's soulfully beautiful ballet teacher. But she, who appears to be a shelter from the storm, may in actuality be the storm's eye. As Rejas draws nearer to the man who considers himself to be the "Fourth Flame of Communism," he and the dancer he loves will be forced to choose between love, country and self.

What the critics are saying:

"Although Malkovich has a good eye for composition and a deft way with rat-a-tat dialogue, Dancer sags in a few too many places."
- Megan Lehmann, The New York Post.

"An accomplished and ambitious directorial debut from John Malkovich..."
- Tom Dawson, BBCi

"...finds just the right balance between private drama and the political world - and may open some eyes to the value of independent thought."
- Leigh Johnson, Hollywood.Com

John Malkovich makes his directorial debut with The Dancer Upstairs - a subtle mixture of political drama and romance.

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