Friday, May 12, 2006

Nacho Libre Review - Brady took down where films were reviewed solely on the basis of their trailer. Thanks, Mike.

Leave it to a couple of Mormons, a Scientologist and a Jew to condemn the Catholic Church. Jared Hess (Mormon) directs and writes (along with one of his wives, Jerusha), Beck (Scientologist) helms the soundtrack (experimental), and Jack Black (Jew) stars (he’s a “star” now, right?). Their film, Nacho Libre, is ultimately a condemnation of the bureaucratic and morally corrupt abusive Roman Catholic Church.

Jack Black, in a dramatic twist, plays the Mexican monk Nacho, who, in the footsteps of Hulk Hogan, aspires to be establish Nachomania. In his way is the Rowdy Roddy Piper-like character Lou Chador. But, Hess has set up an elaborate metaphor. Nacho is poor, stupid and has a killer ‘stache. Lou is rich, powerful and wears an ornate gold mask. Nacho represents the humble and the authentic part of Catholicism left and Lou is the gilded, aristocratic empire. Let the WrestleMania the XXIII begin!

Nacho is living under the thumb of the empire and he wants to free himself from its authoritarian dogma by way of a Wittgensteinian Spinning Sitout Double Underhook Facebuster. Nacho’s approach to Catholicism is summed up by Ludwig in Culture and Value: “If certain graphic propositions for instance are laid down for human beings as dogmas governing thinking, namely in such a way that opinions are not thereby determined, but the expression of opinions is completely controlled, this will have a very strange effect. People will live under an absolute, palpable tyranny, yet without being able to say they are not free. I think the Catholic Church does something like this.”

Chador ascribes to the Catholic tenets of antiquity, but also modernizes his approach with a Rahnerian Upsidedown Powerslam once in a while. Chador and Karl Rahner: In it together. From Foundations of Christian Faith: “If, then, there are very many Christians today who basically regard the different ecclesial communities as equally legitimate churches, this relativistic opinion in ecclesiology presupposes either that the church of Jesus Christ as he willed it does not exist at all, or that in spite of the divisions among Christians it exists to such an extent that it does not really have to be brought about.”

This is an ideological and religious war all wrapped up in the Lucha Libre Mexican wrestling style and Hess is in the middle of it all - making a name for himself in stirring the religious waters. His first film, Napoleon Dynamite, features a main character who is a dead-on latter-day Joseph Smith. Shunned by others, he eventually gets his message across by dancing his way to the top. With Nacho Libre, Hess takes on the two sides of the new Crusades and cements himself as a contemporary theological voice. Ohhhh yeaaaaah.

View Trailer


Coriano said...

You're welcome.

mbrady said...

I knew you'd write about me at some point.