Bloated “Bardo” Doesn’t Do Alejandro Iñárritu Any Favors

Now on Netflix

Flickers of self-reflection and self-loathing dot the terrain of Alejandro Iñárritu’s Mexico-set semi-autobiographical seriocomedy Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths (C-) as it leisurely meanders through its bloated running time. There are many ambitious ideas and a few lovely and dreamlike visual flourishes, but this film rarely transcends its bursts of inspiration. Daniel Giménez Cacho is a stand-in for the director, who is often quite passive in his own morality tale. Just as this tepid protagonist is caught between the worlds of his Mexican homeland and the Hollywood/America where he has immigrated, the film alternates between meta realism and smug fantasies. It’s all quite self-indulgent and mostly hangs like a punishing squawking albatross. The film feels a little bored with its own gimmickry and may have the same effect on audiences.

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