Cassandro, the Exotico! (Marie Losier, 2018), France

Reviewed by Luis Oviedo, viewed at the 2019 Santa Barbara International Film Festival.

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The film is a documentary type film that follows Cassandro, a professional Mexican wrestler, but Cassandro is a special type of wrestler. He is referred to as the Liberace of the wrestling world, not only for his extravagance but for his talent and impact. Cassandro is a type of wrestler called Exotico, Exoticos are wrestlers that dress in a feminine manner, with lots of glitter, make up, and sequence.

The film follows Cassandro as he trains, travels, and competes in wrestling. The cinematography has a vintage feel to it. The film seems to have been taken from an old camera with traditional film. Lots of the shots have a sepia tones that also add to the dessert aesthetic of the setting. As the film progresses the cinematography ties up the aesthetic of the past of cinematography with the personal style of Cassandro. There are a few artistic shots during the film with double exposure and beautiful lights and close ups that pointed out different aspects of Cassandro. Some of them showed his make up, clothing, and movement, which although subtle these were successful at showing Cassandro’s personality.

The film follows Cassandro through his regular life, it does not show intense moments in his career, which worked perfect to portray the kind of human that Saul aka Cassandro is. It mentioned his high moments, as well as a few low ones, but the main purpose of the Losier seems to be showing the human side of Cassandro. The film shows high moments in his career, from victories to television appearances. The film also shows low moments as well, like the death of his mother and how it affected him, as well as his past issues with substance abuse.

The film gave alight to the enigmatic character that is Cassandro, and it also motivated audience member to find out more about the world of Exoticos, it would have been great to have a little more insight on Exoticos, but at the end of the day this was a film about Cassandro.


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