Chico And Rita (DVD)

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Chico And Rita (DVD)

A love affair between two musicians spans six decades and numerous countries and political regimes in this animated romantic drama. In 1948, Chico (vo...

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Review of "Chico And Rita (DVD)"

published 14/10/2014 | crazyomon
Member since : 17/05/2014
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Pro story, emotions and its changing lovers
Cons a couple of not-so-believable coincidences
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"a small mistake can cost you your lifetime..."

Chico And Rita (DVD)

Chico And Rita (DVD)

Chico has grown old, very old, and he shines shoes to make an earning. He lives in a small house, with very few resources. But he’s got one thing which he’d kept for a long time. A picture. He keeps this photo with him everytime. Everyday when he returns from work, he makes two drinks, one for himself and one for that picture. It is Rita’s. He loved her and cared for her above everything in the world. But that was a very long time ago, when he was young.

Chico was the most famous piano player in the town. He used to be famous with girls. But he never cared for any of them except one. Rita. Rita was special. He laid his eyes on her when he was in a party with his friend Ramon. She was the singer of the band playing in the party. At first, it was her voice that made him turn around but when he saw her… By the way, he had a girlfriend at that moment. A playboy he was and he tried on Rita as a playboy would. And in no time, Rita was with him on his bike after dumping her date.

“Chico and Rita” is a Spanish feature-length animated film. Directed by three directors, Javier Mariscal, Fernando Trueba and Tono Errando. And it is not very expansive film with 3-D animation or amazing visual scenes, it is an old-fashioned animated film, but it is all better the way it is. I think this would’ve been a classic feature film if made in 50s but there was no possibility of that happening. So, the touch given to the film, by its 2-D animation, takes you in that era and then it becomes “Casablanca”.

Anyways, as the story moves forward, Chico and Rita come to Chico’s place and they spend a night together. The next day as Rita wakes up, she finds Chico playing the piano. He sits by her listening to the composition created by Chico and named “Rita”. It all seems very pleasing and beautiful until a woman starts thumping the door. She is Juana, Chico’s former girlfriend. When Rita realizes Chico has cheated, she slaps him and leaves the place, as does Juana. Its when Chico feels something different for Rita than other girls he’s been with. He feels sad on her departure.

He follows her to her place. Rita ignores him.

There will be a radio contest soon and Chico asks Ramon to convince Rita to be his partner. Rambo is a charming and funny man. Rita has a kind of different liking to him. She agrees when Rambo asks nicely, but for that competition only. With Chico’s piano and Rita’s voice, there is no chance they’ll not win. Rita, in the moment of joy, kisses Chico upon winning the competition. She’s had a spark too regarding Chico, and perhaps a stronger one too.

They’re together again. They’re famous also. Rita is more famous though with all her beauty. Her fame spreads outside Havana, and soon reaches America, from where a gentleman named Ron, comes to Cuba to offer to take her to America and make her a star. But she refuses as the contract has her name only, and not Chico’s. Chico on the other side, watches them from a far table. He gets angry when he sees that offer letter in Rita’s hand and walks home. Rita worries for him and goes to his house, where she finds Chico’s room locked from inside. She sleeps in the yard and the next morning, she goes to his room again, to find him sleeping with Juana.

As that happens, her heart breaks as does ours. He really loves her, but his mistakes are paying him hell. Rita agrees to go to America with Ron. That very day, Chico gets an offer from an American band to play piano for them. He and Rambo sail on the same ship as of Rita’s. But she’s with Ron now and Rambo stops Chico from going to her. He tells him to wait till they get to America. He does. But not for very long.

There are them and there are their careers. They have to choose. But what will they choose is left on time. Mistakes will be made, as you might have guessed by now. And they will pay for them. “Chico and Rita” majorly depends on its plot. And that is very intelligently written. Well, there are a couple of unbelievable coincidences, but when we look at the movie as a whole, they don’t trouble much the main aim of this movie. The story moves from Cuba to America and does the characters in it. The movie gets political upon reaching America, Ramon becomes the target for those who don’t want good for Chico. The landscapes change, the beauty differs, but the question remains if Chico and Rita will change.

Chico lives in Cuba now, perhaps in the same area as he used to. He hasn’t played or seen a piano in a long time. He doesn’t even care about it now. But whenever he listens to a tune, he doesn’t mind tapping his fingers on the wooden table for a while. He gets surprised when he knows that there are visitors waiting for him. He gets even more surprised when he learns what they’ve come for. He feels young for a moment.

“Chico and Rita” is not one of those movies where you enter it smiling, everything goes fine and you get out of it smiling too. There is a sadness in this love story, but what can you do. You don’t make your life with your wealth or dreams, life makes you with your mistakes.

“Chico and Rita” was the first Spanish feature-length animated film to get nominated for an Academy Award, for the best animated film of the year. It didn’t win that one but it won many other awards like European Film Award and Annie Award for best animated film. “Rango” won the Academy Award that year, I have watched the film and it was OK, nothing to rave about. Other nominated films were “Kung Fu Panda 2”, “Puss in Boots” and “A Cat in Paris” and from the above lot, only “A Cat in Paris” was better than “Chico and Rita”. But awards don’t define films, films define themselves. You might not have heard of this movie before, and thats only because it is not your regular American animated film. But this is better than most of them.

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Comments on this review

  • euphie published 19/10/2014
    vh :o)
  • danielclark691 published 15/10/2014
    very well reviewed E
  • LiveMusicLoverLyn published 15/10/2014
    Nice1
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Product Information : Chico And Rita (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

A love affair between two musicians spans six decades and numerous countries and political regimes in this animated romantic drama. In 1948, Chico (voice of Eman Xor Ona) is a hotshot jazz pianist living in Havana, where his reputation as a ladies' man nearly outshines his talent at the keyboard. One night, Chico sees Rita (voice of Limara Meneses) singing "Love For Sale" at a nightclub, and it's love at first sight, though Rita is put off by the fact Chico already has a steady girl. However, when Chico backs Rita during a talent competition held at a Havana radio station, she realizes they're musically simpatico, and her heart soon follows her creative instincts. But after a quarrel with Chico, Rita is approach by Ron, an American talent scout who says he can make her a star, and she takes him up on the offer, traveling with him to New York. Not wanting to lose Rita, Chico and his best friend Ramon head to New York City, but as Rita achieves fame and fortune in the United States, Chico finds the limelight is keeping them apart, and after returning to Cuba, the island's unstable political climate proves even better than Ron at keeping him away from Rita. CHICO AND RITA was a collaboration between filmmaker and music producer Fernando Trueba, artist and designer Javier Mariscal and animator and director Tono Errando, and features cartoon cameo appearances from a number of legendary jazz artists, including Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo.

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