The Dancer Upstairs (2003) movie review and analysis

Thursday, November 30, 2017

The Dancer Upstairs is a 2003 movie, directed by John Malkovich, produced by John Malkovich and Andres Vicente Gomez, written by Nicholas Shakespeare, and starring Javier Bardem and other Hispanic actors. The movie was based on a novel, The Dancer Upstairs by Nicholas Shakespeare. The movie was filmed in Spain, Ecuador, and Portugal, although the film is about politics in Latin America. The movie, The Dancer Upstairs, was a film adaptation of Nicholas Shakespeare’s book and screenplay.

Bardem plays a policeman who investigates violent acts, such as dogs being killed on hanged from lampposts and young Indian boys posing as suicide bombers to make statement. Apparently, killing dogs and hanging them is a cultural symbolism for traitors. But it really made me sick! These political and violent acts have to do with supporting President Ezequiel who is trying to fight the corrupt Latin American government. Through his young daughter who takes ballet classes, he meets a dance instructor who appears to be somehow connected with such violent acts. Martial law and the military enter to fight President Ezequiel and his supporters.

This movie was interesting because it reminded me of Motorcycle Diaries and movies about the Argentinian revolutionary Che. It is mostly in English, but there are some Spanish with English subtitles. But this movie is a crime/thriller, filled with action.

As I researched more about the story, I realize it was inspired by Shining Path, a Maoist group in Peru. Led by Abimael Guzman, who was eventually captured in the dancer’s apartment located above the dance studio in 1992, in Lima, Peru. The ballet instructor was based on the book’s character, Maritza Garrido Lecca, and the police detective was based on the book’s characters, Benedicto Jimenez and General Antonio Ketin Vidal.

I also notice other issues that are currently going on, such as drug cartels and terrorist acts.


What do you think?

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