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Right now on Prime Video with Gael García Bernal, Roberta Colindrez, Perla De La Rosa, Joaquín Cosío, Raúl Castillo and El Hijo del Santo.

About Cassandro

It is almost an impossibility for any person to describe the feel of watching a film about a gay wrestler…and if “gay wrestler” does seem like an oxymoron that you might say then one can indicate that this is not just one of those movies which respect audiences who do not respect some contradictions and inconsistencies that often shape our lives.

Cassandro’s title role has morphed into a slow burn saga of gay pride and straight shame played by the Mexican Gael Garcia Bernal, one of the finest actors in the world with a staggering reputation for versatility. Bernal doesn’t only play Cassandro: Cassandro plays Bernal too would be no overstatement.

So seamless is the switchover from Character to Actor it almost seems interchangeable. He is Saúl Armendáriz in real life, an actual real-life Mexican-American luchador whose wrestling professionally in his cross-dressed finery. Banuel uses opposite pulls between homosexuality and masculine career to deliver lots of emotions such as repression and guilt as well as acceptance and liberation. The chameleon actor understands what his character means through empathy and warmth.

Even though they are beyond any definition of sportsmanship ever known wrestling scenes are breathtakingly beautiful; they did not however keep me hostage unlike this love-hate thrillers need-meets-struggle alternative(an emotional equivalent to Saul’s combative manoeuvres in the ring). Saul(stage name: Cassandro)’s mother supports him fully by pushing him towards choosing whatever makes him happy in his professional or private life.

As Yocasta (Saul’s mother)Perla de la Rosa’s performance was stunningly realistic( another oxymoron to go with the film’s mood). This could be interpreted as a sign of Cassandro’s utter hopelessness. The darkest phase, in which he moves from ambiguous manhood towards feminine machismo, has been insufficiently explored.

I wanted to see more of Cassandro’s journey, his reunion with his estranged father is so perfunctory as to almost seem like an afterthought. Not that the actress playing Sabrina (Roberta Colindrez) needed it – she was already enough naturalness in her portrayal.

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