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PIÑERO

What You Need To Know:

PIÑERO tells the tragic story of Miguel Piñero, a playwright and poet from New York City by way of Puerto Rico. A leftist-oriented street artist, Miguel achieved a fair amount of success for his 1974 Tony winning play SHORT EYES, based on his experiences in prison as a small-time crook. His success is short-lived, however, when he succumbs to drugs and poverty. Although he paves the way for more Puerto Rican ethnic artists to gain recognition, Miguel becomes yesterday’s news as the drugs and alcohol take effect, turning him into a rude, but tragic, figure.

Benjamin Bratt does a tremendous job portraying this artist, who proudly wears the beret that became a symbol of left-wing, Communist artists trapped in the Marxist philosophies among the inner city poor. It is not he, but the beat poetry of Piñero’s plays and poems that may leave many viewers scratching their heads as to why anyone would want to make a movie of this man’s life. In one sense, therefore, the movie PIÑERO becomes an exercise in ethnic political correctness. This, as well as the excessive foul language, dilutes any universal appeal that such a biography may hold.

Content:

(RoRo, CoCo, APAP, H, Ho, LLL, V, SS, NN, AA, DD, M) Romantic worldview of a left-wing, anti-American artist & drug junkie from Puerto Rico who was eventually rejected by the mainstream public, including those in his own native country, with some humanist & implied homosexual content; about 125 mostly strong obscenities & 4 profanities; minor amounts of violence such as shooting & mild fighting; depicted & implied sexual immorality; partial male & female nudity; alcohol use & abuse; smoking & drug abuse; and, envy & self-righteousness.

More Detail:

PIÑERO tells the tragic story of Miguel Piñero, a playwright and poet from New York City by way of Puerto Rico. A leftist-oriented street artist, Miguel achieved a fair amount of success for his 1974 Tony winning play SHORT EYES, based on his experiences in prison as a small-time crook. His success is short-lived, however, when he succumbs to drugs and poverty. Although he paves the way for more Puerto Rican ethnic artists to gain recognition, Miguel becomes yesterday’s news as the drugs and alcohol take effect, turning him into a rude, but tragic, figure.

Benjamin Bratt does a tremendous job portraying this artist, who proudly wears the beret that often became a symbol of left-wing, Communist artists trapped in the Marxist philosophies among the inner city poor. It is not Bratt’s performance, but the cliched beat poetry of Piñero’s plays and poems that too often may leave many viewers scratching their heads as to why anyone would want to make a movie of this man’s life. In one sense, therefore, the movie PIÑERO becomes an exercise in ethnic political correctness. This dilutes any universal appeal that such a biography may hold. Part of the problem may be that Leon Ichaso’s script and direction seems unfocused and merely serviceable. His script and movie display little flair, except in a few instances, such as when Bratt’s Piñero gives a scintillating recitation of one of Piñero’s more cogent rants about the damaging effects of social oppression, poverty and racism.

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