Cesar Chavez Movie Review
Cesar Chavez was one dedicated dude. So Diego Luna made a movie about him. Called Cesar Chavez. And it's pretty decent.
Actor-turned-director Luna wastes no time getting to the point, as the first scene already has the civil rights activist in the planning stages of uniting farm workers to strike. The movie operates at a fast pace throughout its running time, which is generally but not always appreciated. Luna trims out a lot of unnecessary fat to keep his film on point, but occasionally he goes too far. While Luna digs deep enough into many key aspects of Chavez's tactics, he breezes by others, leading to lopsided storytelling at times.
However, unless you’re really being picky (and/or a critic) this won’t bother you a whole lot. The performances are all around good, though by no means groundbreaking. Perennial supporting actor Michael Peña carries the film well, while America Ferrera and Rosario Dawson do fine in supporting roles.
The movie’s only real major weakness is the side story about the strained relationship between Chavez and his son. It feels tacked on, probably because it is, and unnecessary. Luna’s to-the-point direction doesn’t provide much time to flesh things out enough, though frankly it was an uninteresting and cliché subplot to begin with.
While far from perfect, Cesar Chavez is a fast paced, informative and well acted drama. It’s neither groundbreaking nor award worthy, but it’s a good movie that’s worth seeing nonetheless.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.