Chico and Rita
Beautiful animation creates a realistic world and characters.
Films about music often find a way of merging with romance, sometimes creating a rather sickly film that fails to hold up. For instance films like Step Up come to mind, however done rightly and you can get a gem of a film much like Walk The Line. Romance is perhaps my least favorite of all genres, I usually have little patience for it and feel it often falls prey, more than other genres, to a generic plot. I often find it hard to engage with characters who are often feel wooden. Talking of wood,.. the best romance films that I am only repeating from other viewers is Woody Allen’s unique take on romance, most notably Annie Hall and Manhattan.
Chico and Rita is set in 1940’s Cuba where Chico is a talented Piano player and Rita is a beautiful singer. They meet for the first time in a club, where their love for the music of their time brings them close together, though their relationship is strained constantly throughout. Success for one brings heartache for the other and neither can be truly happy.
The first thing that struck me upon viewing this was the fantastic and alternative animation. It looked all so hand drawn creating a beautiful setting. Add the music and it really does create a stunning yet realistic world. The characters are equally believable with great voice acting, I started to truly engage much more to the usual romantic live action counterpart.
The only real flaw I found was the story, though not hindering the progression it felt at times too predictable and threatening to reaffirm my skepticism for the genre. I guess the nature of a romance lends itself to an easily structured plot, having said this I only felt this at a couple of occasions throughout and it didn’t effect my enjoyment.
Chico and Rita is a very solid film, with great charm and fantastic animation, only being let down mainly due to my opinion on its genre.