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In the time just preceding Castro's takeover of Cuba, an American gambler in Havana gets involved with a revolutionary's wife. Overlong but otherwise well produced!
Elaborate visual mounting and iconographic placement of the romantic leads are the movie's preoccupation, with the overthrow of Batista merely providing local color.
The glittering decadence of this culture on the verge of collapse is in fact the film's most fascinating aspect, and Mr. Pollack has re-created it extravagantly.
The central pair's shattering, once-in-a-lifetime passion cries out for more urgency and emotional power.
Director Sydney Pollack and star Robert Redford have lost their normally dependable quality touch as they slog through a notably uncompelling $45 million-plus tale of a gringo caught up in the Cuban revolution.
Some fundamental things still do apply as time goes go by.
Handsomely produced, with a typically mesmerizing performance by Redford, alas this fails to exploit its intriguing political background and ends up being more of a routine and ineffective romance.
The whole thing lacks conviction.
At best, Pollack achieves a counterfeit sense of this atmosphere. But he insists on continuing the card game anyway, an over-extended misdeal of a movie that refuses to fold.
Unfortunately, against that impressive backdrop, Pollack mounts a film that is lifeless and slow-moving, offering neither a compelling love story nor a tense tale of a city in turmoil.
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