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BARDO, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths - Film Review

Updated: Oct 22, 2022



As part of BFI London Film Festival 2022

Daniel Giménez Cacho in BARDO

Alejandro G. Iñárritu has been fairly silent with his output since 2015’s The Revenant. After over 20 years, this striking director returns to his Mexican homeland to gift the world a film about life. Existence. The spaces in between conversations, events. Connections, feelings. Time, passing by, slipping. The human soul, ageing, maturing, cracking, and repairing itself all over. This is a film about life, in every sense. At just over 2 hours and 30 minutes in length, this is undoubtedly one heck of a journey to sit with. Iñárritu surprised us with an appearance to introduce the film, and he said something along the lines of BARDO being “a cinematic sensory experience,” and I believe that to be quite true. He also asked us to let go of logic and go along for the ride, letting it wash over us.

For 2.5 hours, I let BARDO wash over me. And I’m still letting it sink into my soul as I reflect on it. I’m not so sure I enjoyed the film, but I most definitely appreciated it. I appreciated that it was a personal film for Iñárritu to make; a reflection of himself, of his career, to present to us. It’s incredibly well shot, and features a few stunning scenes and ideas supported by a memorable soundtrack and led by a phenomenal, understated and real performance from Daniel Giménez Cacho. His soft footsteps ricocheting around the sandy apartments and empty city streets he finds himself dreamingly wandering through. Every word, every expression feels earned. If you found this film a struggle to watch, at least you had Cacho leading you through it. The entire cast, though very small, is brilliant, but he carried this film effortlessly.

Still from BARDO

BARDO is a strange film to discuss. It’s really more of an experience you just have to be there for. Expertly crafted and stunning to look at, it’s also a wonderful sensation to the ears. The line between dreams and reality is greatly blurred, but the soundscape created will guide you to the truth. Though it must be said; the experience that started so jarringly strange and interesting, peaks too soon, then unravelling to a slow burning of self indulgence that isn’t executed nearly as well as the hour before. But, a film like this shouldn’t be dumped on Netflix, and I am glad to have experienced it properly with a big audience at LFF. I must say, I wasn’t as captivated as I was with Birdman or The Revenant, but BARDO holds its own charm, and while I didn’t enjoy it a whole lot—certainly due to its tiresome running length—I did go along for the journey, as its director graciously asked. This is what cinema is all about.

Daniel Giménez Cacho in BARDO

BFI London Film Festival 2022 runs from October 5th - 16th, for more info visit:



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