Felipe (Bad Bunny) and Saul (Gael Garcia Bernal) talking
"Felipe (Bad Bunny) and Saul (Gael Garcia Bernal) talking," Cassandro, directed by Roger Ross Williams, 2023, (Amazon Prime Video)

Read our Editorial Guidelines regarding how posts are written and rated and our use of affiliate links.


General Information

Director(s) Roger Ross Williams
Screenplay By Roger Ross Williams, David Teague
Date Released (In Theaters) September 15, 2023
Date Released (Prime Video) September 22, 2023
Genre(s) Action, Comedy, Drama, LGBT+, Biopic, Sports
Film Length 1 Hour 47 Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Characters and Cast
Saul/ Cassandro Gael García Bernal
Yocasta Perla De La Rosa
Sabrina Roberta Colindrez
Gerardo Raúl Castillo

General Information

Director(s) Roger Ross Williams
Screenplay By Roger Ross Williams, David Teague
Date Released (In Theaters) September 15, 2023
Date Released (Prime Video) September 22, 2023
Genre(s) Action, Comedy, Drama, LGBT+, Biopic, Sports
Film Length 1 Hour 47 Minutes
Content Rating Rated R
Noted Characters and Cast
Saul/ Cassandro Gael García Bernal
Yocasta Perla De La Rosa
Sabrina Roberta Colindrez
Gerardo Raúl Castillo

Content Rating Explanation

“Cassandro” contains:

  • Dialog: Cursing and homo-averse language
  • Violence: General wrestling violence
  • Sexual Content: Sexual situations without nudity
  • Miscellaneous: Drinking and drug use

Film Summary

This content contains pertinent spoilers. Also, images and text in this post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made from those sites, we may earn money or products from the company.

Saul is a gay man who, since his childhood, has loved Lucha Libre and eventually began working as a wrestler as an adult. However, stuck between either being a runt or an exotico, winning a match was almost always out of the cards, no matter how much Saul trained.

Enter Sabrina, who, like Saul’s mother, Yocasta, was very supportive of him, and this led to his life changing. He decided to embrace an exotico image, even though such characters were bound to always lose, and as the icon Cassandro, Saul began to make a name for himself. However, as his professional profile rises, there comes the question of whether his personal life, like with his lover Gerardo, could match, considering Gerardo is down low in the worst way.

Other Noteworthy Information

  1. Bad Bunny doesn’t play a notable role in the film. He’s a promoter’s associate with a handful of scenes, probably not clocking in more than 10 to 15 minutes.

Character Descriptions

Please Note: This character guide is not an exhaustive list of every cast member, and character descriptions may contain what can be considered spoilers.

Saul/ Cassandro

Saul (Gael Garcia Bernal)
Gael García Bernal in Cassandro. Photo: Courtesy of Prime Video © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC

Out since he was a teenager, Saul has been firm in who he is for nearly 20 years. However, it has come at a cost. While he loves and is firmly himself, finding love beyond his mother has been a challenge, and finding success as a wrestler has especially been hard due to his size and promoters not pushing him.

Yocasta

Yocasta (Perla De La Rosa)
“Yocasta (Perla De La Rosa),” Cassandro, directed by Roger Ross Williams, 2023, (Amazon Prime Video)

Saul’s mother and best friend is Yocasta, who has a terrible dating history but is the best mom a child can ask for. Plus, she is also a hard worker, so while Saul can’t afford to get a proper trainer, he at least can have his own life and interest outside of helping with bills.

Sabrina

Sabrina (Roberta Colindrez)
Roberta Colindrez in Cassandro. Photo: Courtesy of Prime Video © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC

A successful local wrestler and trainer, Sabrina becomes one of Saul’s closest friends and advocates in the industry and gives him the push needed to not only go from El Topo to Cassandro, but also gain the moves necessary to find a promoter who will build up his brand.

  • The actor is also known for their role in “ White Light” and their role in “Vida.”

Gerardo

Gerardo (Raul Castillo)
Raúl Castillo in Cassandro. Photo: Courtesy of Prime Video © AMAZON CONTENT SERVICES LLC

Gerardo is a fellow wrestler of Saul’s and his secret lover.

Review

Our Rating: Positive (Worth Seeing)

Highlights

Sabrina and Saul’s Relationship

While Yocasta and her son’s relationship is sweet, something about Sabrina and Saul feels reaffirming. Maybe it is because she was already established and decided to take on Saul despite him having no money to pay her? Perhaps it is, despite Sabrina seemingly not being queer, or not performing and living her life out loud like Saul, that made their bond and her vocal and outright aggressive approach to damn near managing him notable?

It’s hard to say, but whether you are talking about in or near the ring, in business, or when in a private moment, there was something sweet, though also potentially subtle there that was easy to like.

On The Fence

It Rarely Feels It Goes As Far As It Could

With that said, “Cassandro” often feels like it is playing it safe and not going as far as it could, no matter what the subject. It doesn’t go into the history of exoticos and gay characters in Lucha Libre. While Sabrina is the female lead and has some of the most screen time beyond Saul, beyond it being noted she is a mother and wrestler, she often is relegated to being Cassandro’s friend, and not much beyond that.

Then, as for Saul’s own issues? We’re introduced to his father and how his reaction to him being gay was an issue, but how did his relationship with Gerardo form? We don’t get much.

A lot of what “Cassandro” delivers feels very much torn between the assumption that viewers have already seen certain types of stories, so there is no need to rehash it, or wanting to keep the film light, so they don’t go deep into the pain, or dark emotions associated with certain things. For example, Saul gets a slightly big head at times as he gets successful, but the film doesn’t let it go so far as to make him a drug addict, cruel to Sabrina, or anything like that. It’s like there is a fear of making Saul anything but likable or any character not fit within a dichotomy of someone to like or hate, which ultimately makes the film and its characters often bland.

I mean, even with Gerardo, who likely is torn between what he feels for Saul and the life which is safest for him, I don’t think enough is written into that character to really feel and understand anything beyond what you may already know from the media, second-hand knowledge, or first-hand experience.

Who Is This For?

Those who love underdog stories that limit the adversity, personal challenges, and anything that could stop or slow down the rise of the lead, and mainly focus on them enjoying their climb to the top.

Recommendations

If you like this movie, we recommend:

  1. Creed
  2. The Wrestler
  3. The Inspection

Check out our movies page for our latest movie reviews and recommendations.


Listed Under Categories: ,


Follow, Like and Subscribe


Cassandro (2023) – Overview

Summary

While certainly likable, “Cassandro” undercuts itself by focusing on the hope or ideal and rarely addressing the negative feelings, emotions, or scenarios you’d expect. Due to this, for better or worse, it avoids tropes and well-trodden roads.

Overall
80%
80%
  • Sabrina and Saul’s Relationship - 83.5%
    84%
  • It Rarely Feels It Goes As Far As It Could - 76%
    76%
Sending
User Review
0 (0 votes)

Highlight(s)

  • Sabrina and Saul’s Relationship

Disputable

  • It Rarely Feels It Goes As Far As It Could

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.