Will ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ Spawn a New Magazine: Condé Nast Revolution?

Travel Blog  •  Jim Benning  •  10.08.04 | 6:59 PM ET

imageI imagine I’m not the only travel addict who was eager to see “The Motorcycle Diaries,” the new film about Che Guevara’s youthful journey through South America. After all, it’s a road film, and done right, road films stoke wanderlust. So does “The Motorcycle Diaries” deliver? I’d say so, having seen the movie last night.

The film’s visuals are enough to make you want to hop on the next flight to Buenos Aires, Cuzco or Valparaiso. What’s more, the film captures that sense of discovery so many young travelers experience when they light out for the first time. But it’s not perfect.

A reviewer for The Nation, Stuart Klawans, hit the nail on the head with this observation: “With this much sense of visual discovery, ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ could spawn a glossy magazine: Condé Nast Revolution.” In other words, sometimes it’s a bit much.

What’s more, because the film focuses on the pre-revolutionary Che, audiences aren’t asked to consider what became of Guevara’s transformation years later. As Klawans writes: “He devoted much of his adult life to activities of the kill-or-be-killed variety. That, of course, is something that a culture of liberal self-congratulation would prefer not to contemplate. We’d rather get the T-shirt Che, only prettier.”

True enough. I’ll skip the T-shirt. But I’m a sucker for a good road movie.