First I thought of another kind of film that wasn’t a jungle Western.Then I went to Misiones, into the forest for a few weeks, and when I came back, I wrote a first draft.Gael then became more directly involved in the production, and decided to come in with Canana and then as an actor.
The Ardor (original title: El Ardor) is a 2014 western drama film, written and directed by Pablo Fendrik.
It stars Gael García Bernal as a lone shaman who rescued the kidnapped woman from the mercenaries who killed her farmer father and took over her property.
It was also one of the Argentinian films which were in consideration to send as Argentina's official entry for 87th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film but ultimately Wild Tales was selected.
The film received mixed to negative reviews from critics, upon its premiere at Cannes.
David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter gave the film a mixed and said that "Despite the fiery passion implicit in its title, this rumble in the jungle lacks heat." In his review for Variety, Peter Debruge said that "Fendrik’s unusual genre exercise builds in arduous slow-motion toward a thrilling grindhouse climax, but lacks the hair-raising tension a more unsettling sound mix could create — though a slash-and-burn re-edit." Fionnuala Halligan of Screen International in her review said that the film "looks bewitching, the banks of the Parana River shrouded in mist and vegetation.
Cinematographer Julian Apezteguia switches tack to handle the showdown gunfight in a classic, dust-driven Western manner, and the interludes featuring the local jaguar are particularly attractive." But ultimately called the film "an atmospheric if slightly plodding jungle revenge romp." gave the film two and a half star out of five and said that "Pablo Fendrik has things to say and delivers a film rich in content and technically perfect, but loses the opportunity for great cinema, due to weaknesses of the script." Cine Tradicional in its review said about the performance that "Gael, who along with the gorgeous Alice Braga , delivered a couple of interesting and committed performances." But concluded that "the director, who in his claim fails to show a stance." Mediapart gave the film a negative review by saying that "At first glance, the choice to place the action in the very current phenomenon of violent dispossession of land made against different Amazonian populations, was wise.
Because in addition to telling a story to an audience, then there was the desire to warn about this area of law not intolerable to the international community. In addition, the cast is limited to professional actors: no room for extras that could embody this reality.
Pablo Fendrik’s “El Ardor,” which is an Amazon-set Western action adventure, now screns at the 4th Panama Festival.
The film, which is Participant Media’s first investment under its Participant Pan America initiative, received a Special Screening at this year’s Cannes Festival.
The third feature from Fendrik, whose “Blood Appears” played Cannes’ Critics’ Week, “El Ardor” stars Gael Garcia Bernal as an Amazon rainforest settler, Kai, who befriends a tobacco farmer and his beautiful daughter (Alice Braga).
When a band of brutal mercenaries slaughter the father and kidnap the daughter, Kai sets out to rescue her.