I typically don’t write movie reviews on my blog but when the opportunity presented itself to attend the press screening of Cantinflas The Movie I just couldn’t say no. As the daughter of Mexican parents I grew up with Cantinflas movies playing on our television screen but never really took notice of who this beloved character was or how big he was, not only in Mexico but also in all Latin America and even Europe.
Mario Moreno was born in Mexico City in August 1911 to a family of very little means. In his efforts to provide for his family he took on several jobs which included a mail carrier, boxer, bull fighter and even a med student. In the early 1930’s by circumstance he landed in the world of street tent entertainment which traveled across cities offering popular amusement. This lead him to the Folies Theatre where inspired by a “drunkie” janitor, Mario Moreno gave life to his character of Cantinflas. This was the beginning of a wonderful career that would bring him over 50 films including “Around the World in 80 days” for which he became the first Mexican recipient of a Golden Globe. The rest is history….
Now let’s get to the part where I tell you what a wonderful film this is…Cantinflas is the story of the greatest most beloved comedian in Mexico. The character of Mario Moreno/Cantinflas is played by the super talented Spanish actor Oscar Jaenada who does a spectacular job at bringing both characters into life and really making the viewer believe he is Cantinflas! I had the chance to sit down and chat with Jaenada about his experience and this is a little of what he had to say: “I am truly honored to have been able to play the character of not only Cantinflas but also that of Mario Moreno. They were both two very different people with different personalities and that brought on a huge responsibility for me to learn how to speak, act and even breath differently. The classes were very tedious but I must say that imitation was the best teaching. I watched lots of footage of Cantinflas, but there wasn’t much of Mario Moreno to watch so I hard to learn who he was through his family, friends and people he worked with throughout his career.” The actor continued on to say that if there’s anything he takes from this film it would be “Mexico.” “I take Mexico, I literally feel Mexican blood running though my veins.” And there is no doubt in my mind that so will you once you watch the movie. So don’t forget to head out to theaters this weekend and watch this amazing biopic. I guarantee you will walk out of there in awe of how wonderfully the character is played and with a huge curiosity to learn even more about who the amazing Cantinflas was.
And of course I couldn’t finish this post without taking notice of Oscar Jaenada’s great sense of style! As a fashion blogger you guys already know that was the first thing I noticed when I met him. His laid back, somewhat grungy rocker look was perfect!