El Cantante

"Terrible"

El Cantante Review


¡Cómo terrible!

Leon Ichaso's El Cantante, a frenzied and paper-thin attempt to lionize beloved salsa singer Hector Lavoe (played by Marc Anthony), convinced me it's time to put the musical-biopic genre on the shelf for a few years.

Cantante draws inspiration from a revealing 2002 television interview given by Lavoe's wife, Puchi (Jennifer Lopez, Anthony's wife in real life), during which the furious and confrontational spouse of the late Latin singer recounts the couple's highs and lows. Signed to burgeoning Fania Records, Lavoe sold out Madison Square Garden in his prime. But decadence's usual suspects march through Lavoe's life, and the talented crooner contends with drug addiction, failed affairs with loose women, a broken family life, and an HIV-positive diagnosis.

Chalk Anthony and Lopez up as the next off-screen couple unable to bring a modicum of chemistry to an on-screen pairing. Perhaps the problem lies with Lopez, who was infamously linked to Ben Affleck when the two worked on back-to-back disasters Gigli and Jersey Girl. Though she is capably antagonistic as the oft-scorned Puchi, Lopez's mate makes the same face in every scene and can not find the tragedy in his character's doomed fate. Anthony missed his calling as a Miami Vice villain. Such a diminished and one-note role suits him much better than the multi-tiered part of Lavoe.

These two could be Bogart and Bacall, and still the movie would falter under the hackneyed direction of Ichaso. His erratic visual style turns me off -- a flurry of blurs, fades, and chops that the director mistakenly believes are artistic.

The musical biopic isn't dead, just tired. Thanks to Jamie Foxx, it was possible for novice Ray Charles listeners to enjoy Ray. And you didn't have to love the music of Johnny Cash to connect with the improbable romance at the heart of Walk the Line. But without the driving beat of Lavoe's salsa music, El Cantante would bring nothing new to the table. Fans of Lavoe's upbeat music should spend their money on one of the artist's records, and let this ill-conceived movie fade from memory as quickly as possible.

When are the Dreamgirls coming on?



El Cantante

Facts and Figures

Run time: 106 mins

In Theaters: Friday 3rd August 2007

Box Office USA: $7.5M

Distributed by: Picturehouse

Production compaines: R-Caro Productions, Nuyorican Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 25%
Fresh: 26 Rotten: 80

IMDB: 5.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Hector Lavoe, as Puchi, as Willie Colon, as Eddie, as Ralph, Federico Castelluccio as Jerry Masucci, as Johnny Pacheco, as Papo, Romi Dias as Priscilla, as Zaida

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.