Piñero (2001)

PineroThis is possibly the most grueling movie I’ve ever had to endure because it’s simply dull; I thought biographical movies were supposed to be interesting yet this isn’t. Benjamin Bratt plays Miguel Pinero in this documentary/biographical tale of the Puerto Rican poet who rose to fame with his poetry and inevitably fell from grace by a brutal drug addiction and liver disease and died at forty in the late eighties though revered by culture and poets everywhere. If Pinero was a much of a genius as this movie proclaims him to be then he gets the short end of the stick because this is simply a lot of nothing.

The movie drags on for minute after minute with nothing even remotely interesting happening. We watch as we can see most of the actors struggling to act within this bore of a movie and I struggled to stay awake. At certain times I contemplated turning the channel but then I couldn’t do this review. Benjamin Bratt is excellent and charismatic as the charming and poetic Pinero who seemed to spout poetry every time he talked. He’s incredible and is possibly the best thing about watching this movie.

The poetry in which Bratt performs, though, isn’t interesting and it never really left me thinking nor did it leave me in awe; it was just sad. Pinero is a sad figure in poetic history but then again what poetic author wasn’t? I felt Rita Moreno and Talisa Soto gave great performances but they’re grossly underused and misused in basically thankless roles. Moreno is an interesting character as when Pinero’s father leaves the kids she attempts to bring some optimism into their lives. Mandy Patinkin gives a good supporting role playing Joe Papp, a friend of Pinero’s and manager at a theater who helps Pinero create his controversial play “Short Eyes.”

At times I was just bored by the slow story and uninteresting events that chronicled this man’s life. Leon Ichaso tries really hard to make this seem artsy by giving occasional black and white sequences and the performances of Pinero’s poetry, but it comes off as trite and desperate. True, some may say the whole point of the movie was that Pinero was basically a sad man. If that is what this movie was meant to be then, it worked. Though garnering a strong lead performance by Bratt, “Pinero” is a dull, slow, and completely uninteresting biopic.