Press Stories: Review of Gael García Bernal as the Luchador Saúl Armendáriz

Title: “Colindrez Shines in ‘Cassandro’, a Riveting Exploration of Identity and Wrestling”

In the world of cinema, it is often hard to find performances that leave a lasting impact. However, Maya Colindrez has carved a niche for herself with her exceptional portrayal in the film “Cassandro.” The movie revolves around the story of Saúl, played by Colindrez, who goes through a transformative journey in the extravagant world of lucha libre wrestling.

Colindrez’s portrayal of Saúl is nothing short of remarkable. Her character is not only a fierce advocate for Saúl but also becomes his emotional support throughout the film. As Saúl navigates his way through the wrestling industry, he switches seamlessly between English and Spanish during his conversations with his friends, Sabrina and Gerardo.

The film delves into Saúl’s sexuality, an integral aspect of the plot, albeit without fully exploring it. Director Marie Losier expertly captures Saúl’s journey of self-discovery and transformation with the encouragement of his friend Sabrina. Under her guidance, Saúl reinvents himself as the flamboyant and campy persona known as “Cassandro.”

Initially facing backlash, Saúl quickly becomes a fan favorite due to the dedication and passion he brings to his wrestling persona. The film beautifully captures the relationship between Saúl and Gerardo, a highlight of the movie. Their physical intimacy serves as both a reflection of their wrestling careers and an escape from them.

Set during the height of the HIV and AIDS panic, “Cassandro” explores the wrestling world against the backdrop of this epidemic. However, the film does not directly address the issue, focusing instead on Saúl’s personal journey. It depicts the struggles, triumphs, and sacrifices made by those involved in wrestling, highlighting the determination required to succeed.

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While the film’s captivating storyline and stellar performances are its main strengths, some critics argue that it falls short in capturing the flashy and extravagant nature of lucha libre in a naturalistic way. Nonetheless, “Cassandro” manages to captivate its audience with its underlying themes of identity and acceptance.

Rated R for drugs and violence, “Cassandro” boasts a running time of 1 hour and 47 minutes, providing ample opportunity to become immersed in the gripping narrative. For those interested in experiencing this unique film, it can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

In conclusion, “Cassandro” stands as a testament to the extraordinary talent of Maya Colindrez and the heartfelt storytelling abilities of Marie Losier. The film explores themes of identity, acceptance, and self-discovery against the backdrop of the flamboyant world of lucha libre wrestling. With its exceptional performances, captivating storyline, and emotional depth, “Cassandro” is a must-watch for cinephiles and wrestling enthusiasts alike.

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