The Sun Is Setting
Stars: Clint Eastwood. Dwight Yoakam, Eduardo Minett, Matalia Traven, Fernanda Urrejoia and Ana Rey
Director: Clint Eastwood
Scriptwriters: Nick Schenk and N. Richard Nash from his novel, “Cry Macho”
Cinematography: Ben Davis
Composer: Mark Mancina
Malpaso Productions/ Warner Brothers Pictures
Rating: PG 13 for language and themed material
Running Length :95 Minutes
“Cry Macho” is a book, written by the late N. Richard Nash, and tells the story of an aging has-been rodeo rider. The film closely follows the book. Clint Eastwood was offered the role of Mike in the 1980’s and turned it down for another “Dirty Harry” film. Almost forty years later, Eastwood ends up not only directing the film, but acting in it, also. Along the way, were characters in the overseas “Spaghetti Westerns,” plus five “Dirty Harry” movies. “Cry Macho” marks Clint Eastwood’s 45th job as a film director.
That said, what makes “Cry Macho” an interesting film? It is about an aging rodeo star and in this case, Eastwood is 91 years old. Also, set in the southwest with horses, rooster fighting and great sunsets. Then, there are the elements that make a story. In this case, it is a young boy, Rafo (Eduardo Minett) who is caught in a custody battle between father, Howard (Dwight Yoakam) who lives in the U.S., and mother, Leta (Fernanda Urrejola) who lives in Mexico. The boy decided to live with Mom in Mexico and the father hasn’t heard from him. Owing Howard (Yoakum) a favor, Mike relents and will go into Mexico to bring the boy back home. We find that Rafo has run away from his mother, lives on the streets and has a prize fighting rooster called “Macho.” Eventually, Mike persuades Rafo and the rooster to come back to the states and be with Dad. This is where adventures happen and you wonder…will they make it? A 91-year-old guy, a kid and a rooster? Well, Eastwood was in “Every Which Way But Loose” with an orangutan, so this should be a piece of cake. Not always….
Along with the southwestern scenery and horses, you will learn about cock fighting, which is usually an underground sport. The roosters do the fighting instead of the men. Rafo manages to get himself a prize rooster. Figure this out, is having the animal fight for you, being macho? Mike tries to tell Rafo what really makes a man. This may be part of a redemption for Mike, who has a troubled past, and is, after all, 91 years old. There are situations that test the patience of Mike, including trying to reason with a teenager. There isn't just one generation separating them, there are several.
What I had difficulty with, is, understanding Clint Eastwood. His raspy and low voice is almost a whisper at times, and then some people seem to shout at him, in particular, Rafo. The cinematography by Ben Davis is well done, from the dirt back roads to the southwestern scenery. To go along with this is the music score for Mark Mancina. At some times, you would like to close your eyes and just listen.
Copyright 2021 Marie Asner