Pablo Larraín's 'Neruda' is a richly imagined biographical fantasia - LA Times
From the opening scene, a political gathering wittily set in an enormous
public lavatory, Neruda, a senator and member of the Chilean Communist
Party, is shown to be a proud and vociferous critic of his country’s
leadership. But in the very next sequence, a lavish party crammed with
half-naked revelers, the film presents the idea of Neruda as a Champagne
socialist — a vain, hedonistic hypocrite who, like so many left-wing
elites, loves “to soak up other people’s sweat and suffering.”
“Neruda’s” formal spryness and nontraditional appreciation of history
will come as little surprise to admirers of “Jackie,” Larraín’s other
great bio-experiment of the moment, or his 2012 drama, “No,” a
compelling snapshot of the end of the Augusto Pinochet regime that also
starred Bernal (with Gnecco and Castro in prominent supporting roles).
His filmography, which includes such festival-acclaimed favorites as
“Tony Manero,” “Post Mortem” and “The Club,”
Unspooling the picture earlier this year at the Cannes Film Festival, Larraín confessed that, even after making the movie, he wasn’t at all sure he knew who Neruda was.