NERUDA (2016)

A Movie Review


“Tonight I can write the saddest lines.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too.”

This is the beautiful poetry of Pablo Neruda. To read it is to be mesmerized, to hear it is to be cast under a magical spell.  Such are the words of Pablo Neruda. His entire countrymen were under his thrall. That is what made him such a dangerous man.

Police Inspector Oscar Peluchonneau (Gael Garcia Bernal), hunts down the poet and National Senator, Pablo Neruda, who has become a fugitive in his home country of Chile for joining the communist party. The policeman’s dogged pursuit put me in mind of Javert’s chase of Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. He never gives up! Although, one begins to wonder if Oscar is really serious about catching Neruda at all.


I loved the line about how Neruda had created the policeman and the policeman had created Neruda. It is as though we are all products of each others imaginations. Imagine that.

The movie is sumptuously photographed and is more dream play than a real play, more surreal than real.

I must confess I didn’t know much about Neruda before watching this movie. Of course I was familiar with his poetry which I loved for it beautiful sensuality and lyrical presentation. I now know more about him as a result of this movie and my subsequent research into the subject.

Neruda won the Nobel Prize for literature in 1971. Gabriel Garcia Marquez described him as the greatest poet of the 20th century.

In fact he was a complicated man full of contradictions but no one deny the beauty of his poetry. I really enjoyed this movie and I hope you do too.





5 thoughts on “NERUDA (2016)

  1. My first exposure to Neruda was through the film “Il Postino”, an Italian film that won an academy award. Neruda, taught the postman poetry and activism though that was a secondary theme, while he was in exile on the island. It is interesting how a film can trigger interest, as I found and bought a vintage book of his poetry

    Liked by 2 people

      • Yes. Were you aware that the star of il Postino died before the film was completed? He was apparently quite ill while filming but hung in there. Fortunately, they filmed an ending with his death in the event he wouldn’t make it. So the sweat you see is real. Very interesting. I have watched many times and adds to the story to see him struggling toward the end.

        Liked by 1 person

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