Havana

Havana, 1990 film starring  Robert Redford, Lena Olin, Alan Arkin.  Good pre revolution Cuba film.

1950’s Cuba, professional gambler Jack Weil (Redford) is looking for the big poker game not a woman.  He does however meet Roberta Duran (Olin), a beautiful woman who seems to be heavily involved in the Cuban revolution.  He falls in love with her.  Unfortunately she is married to Arturo (Raul Julia), a high ranking member of the revolution.  She and her husband are arrested and reports in the news claim that Arturo was killed.  Jack jumps on the chance and finds a way to free Roberta.  He wants to take her to Miami, away from the violence and uncertainty of the revolution.

Other than Miami this movie was filmed in the Dominican Republic.  It is one of the few places that resembles Cuba both then and now.  I have been to Cuba several times myself and wondered where it was filmed because it looked just like the locations I have seen myself.  I have been to Old Havana, which is a huge tourist spot, and is unmistakably the same as the streets and buildings you see in the film.

The acting here was great, Redford never disappoints me, especially in the eighties and nineties.  The story was somewhat believable.  I mean, sure, gambling was huge in the fifties Cuba but I find it hard to believe an average gambler could convince a member of Batista’s military to let him have a political prisoner.

The film may have moved slow in a few spots it was overall a great historic drama.  All while the love story was going on the very real story of the Cuban revolution was taking place in the background.  There were even some scenes where we saw the aftermath of some of the fighting.    The film was deep yet simple, man loves woman and lets her go.  I was happy I watched it.




 

 

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