Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths 2022 Movie Review
What a terrible shame that BARDO is only gonna be shown on Netflix. Although Netflix produced this year’s greatest films, it’s a shame that those films will never play on the big screens. So you can imagine how honoured and grateful I was to attend a preview of BARDO with Alejandro G. Inarritu, one of my favourite directors of all time, who came himself and presented his film. You could tell how happy he was to present the film, as it clearly is his most personal and intimate work to date.
I was hoping for the best, but didn’t expect too much as the film received quite mixed first reviews from Venice and other previews. That’s why I wasn’t prepared for the journey Inarritu would take me on for the next three hours. BARDO isn’t only easily the best film of the year so far, it was also one of the most beautiful and profound cinematic experiences I’ve had in my life – that’s the reason why I started my review by saying that it’s a shame most people will only experience this on their TV. It’s really a shame. The images Inarritu and his godlike DoP Darius Khondji produce here are far beyond incredible. The first half hour of the film, I constantly had goosebumps because of the sheer beauty of this film. I often say that I deeply appreciate when a film invents new, unseen images, when the team behind the film almost invent a new cinematic language. They absolutely do here.
The film might feel too long for some, pretentious for others, but it was just the film I was waiting for since a long time, not knowing I was until I’ve watched it. It was one of these rare films which I didn’t ever want to end, and the fact that I knew it was going to run for three hours actually comforted me many times throughout the sublime time I had watching this.
BARDO is undoubtedly Inarritu’s most ambitious film yet, this film feels – and is – HUGE. It’s an incredible homage to the country Mexico (I’ve sat through the whole endless credits and he literally only hired Mexicans to work on this film), but moreover, it’s one of the most touching and honest films about family. Where in many films depicting family relationships can feel cheesy and superfluous, here it really worked, and moved me in a way no other film did. That is also due to the fact that all actors are nothing less than absolutely outstanding. Led by the revelation of the year, Daniel Giménez Cacho, who plays the role of Silverio and easily carries the very heavy weight of this opus on his shoulders, the film already had a complex character who you could easily identify with. But every actor until the last smallest supporting role was cast perfectly and contributed to this film.
Bardo reads like a poem, as Inarritu speaks in metaphors one more beautiful and thoughtful than the other. It’s layered, complex, absurd, dreamlike, moving, breathtakingly beautiful, visionary and ambitious – one of the best films I’ve seen in my life and a film which will have a place in my heart for a very long time.