Cry Macho and the deconstruction of Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood is undoubtedly one of the main exponents of American cinematography and a recognized world icon for his immortal works of the western genre, however, at the age of 91, his latest film, Cry Macho, has had a very poor reception from of the audience and critics.

Cry Macho is originally a novel authored by Richard Nash who devised the story as a film script in 1975, but trying to sell it uselessly, adapted it as a literary text, the concept to take it to the movies regained strength almost a decade ago and even Arnold Schwarzenegger was interested in the project, although Clint finally chose it as material that could benefit him by sticking to his trail of roles, which through westerns and vulnerability, have broken paradigms about American masculinity.

Eastwood’s bet resulted in loss, first financially, Cry Macho already appears as the eighth place in the list of the worst premieres in more than 3000 theaters worldwide, grossing just 4.5 million dollars in its premiere, this goes hand in hand With the simultaneous premiere, at no additional cost to the subscription, that it had on HBO Max and the bad reviews that have gone around the networks, the production company Warner, responsible for the film, has also filled the first two places on this list. this same year with Reminiscence and Malignant, the three highly promoted and distributed films were not to the taste of the audience and Cry Macho could not cope with its budget of 33 million dollars, so far it has grossed just over 9 million around the world , far short of Clint’s last film, 2018’s The Mule, which grossed $17 million upon its release and $174.8 million worldwide to date.

The second loss in Clint’s bet is due to the disappointing delivery of his mission, deconstructing American masculinity, appropriating a text that tries to teach about the superficial and enslaving nature of the “Macho” title, the director and screenwriter shows an ego creator, by manipulating the story to revolve around himself and disguising his age in a script originally written for a much younger man, and openly portraying a made-up version of the masculinity he has always carried, vulnerable but immovable.

Let’s take a moment to do a somewhat forced but apt comparison between 2021’s Cry Macho, a story about an older man trying to teach a younger man about masculinity and the dangers of losing himself in social roles, and Scent of a Woman from 1992, a story about an older man on the verge of suicide who teaches a young man about dignity, self-acceptance, and respect for oneself and others, stories with similar approaches based on novels, featuring to actors recognized for their hyper-masculine roles in film, who play men in the twilight of life who indirectly pass on their wisdom to younger men who face the awakening of “being men” and find themselves in the discovery of new motivations.

Scent of a Woman is undoubtedly a story that shows many flaws in the masculine idiosyncrasy of Western culture and that through the impeccable performance of its protagonists, Al Pacino and a young Chris O’Donnell, give us a film that does not pretend instruct but deconstruct and touch fibers in the audience of how to appreciate the little things in life that society prevents us through imposed roles, its worldwide box office has collected 134 million dollars from a budget of 31 million, similar to the by Cry Macho.

The comparison is not intended to reveal moral superiority, but rather a good treatment of the subject by the filmmakers behind Scent of a Woman, a film that even gave Al Pacino an Oscar. In 2021 we live in an era of deconstruction, constant debate and surveillance of representation in the media, from social networks to the cinema and the treatment of a subject must be taken with absolute seriousness, in an impartial and decentralized manner, it is clear that in Cry Macho , Clint Eastwood occupies the screen before the subject and the deconstruction of celebrity and not masculinity abounds in his intention, like other 2021 films that opted for similar formulas such as Cinderella, the fault is at the starting point and not in the audience, which should never be underestimated.

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Cry Macho and the deconstruction of Clint Eastwood


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