…and the quest to see everything

Carlos

The film begins in 1973, with a car explosion killing Mohammed Boudia. Then they show the man who’s going to avenge that death, a fashionably dressed man named Ilich Ramirez Sanchez (Edgar Ramirez). We see him going to Beirut to meet Wadie Haddad, trying to prove himself to Haddad by telling the latter his guerrilla history. Despite his youth and inexperience, Haddad includes him in the PLFP. An important theme of the film will be Ilich, now calling himself Carlos, constantly trying to prove himself to Haddad and win his approval despite his shortcomings.

We see Carlos, going to and from his contacts in Paris and London, the camera fading in and out and beginning a scene with captions of the place and time elapsed, marking how disjointed this short version of the film can be. He’s assigned and taking on missions by himself, accomplishing them with quick athleticism. We get to see Carlos get weaker and fatter as the film progresses. The film wanes as it goes on yet Ramirez’ performance gets stronger and he portrays Carlos’ later days. The shorter film focuses on Carlos’ nasrcissism and interiority, yet I would rather have seen him pull off more terrorist plots than to see another full frontal shot.

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