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April 7, 2012 | 2:54 p.m. CST
Chico & Rita is more than just a love story. It's a story about the love of music and how it transcends time and space.
Unlike some of the newer animated moves that rely on bouncy bright computer animation and stop motion, Chico & Rita has beautiful animation that is full of color and captures the setting of some of the most glamorous cities in the world.
The movie starts in Cuba, where we meet Chico, who is riddled with age and somber as he looks through a keepsake box full of news clippings and photographs. We see his life in flashbacks, from the moment he sees Rita singing to a crowd to the moment when they make love for the first time. Each scene is accompanied by the sweet jazz of Bebo Valdes, Charlie Parker and Gizzy Gillespie.
Chico is a jazz pianist and Rita is a cabaret singer. They're both dreaming of bright lights, success and fame. Set in the 1940’s, the movie follows them as they travel across the world. They bump into each other, rekindle their romance and find out that their love of music keeps them closer to each other than they think.
Academy Award-winning director Fernado Trueba develops each character’s personality while intertwining history about the simple tale of unrequited love.
Along with the romantic storyline between Chico and Rita, Javier Mariscal designed a set made for the big screen. From the wintery nights in New York to the warm, sticky nights in Havana, each scene is filled with loud colors and enticing detail.
Chico & Rita is a beautiful movie full of colorful cinematography that can only be appreciated on the big screen. Although it lost to Gore Verbinski’s Rango at this year’s Academy Awards, the movie is a visionary masterpiece.