Cassandro – Movie Review

Cassandro will be in theaters on September 15 and streaming on Prime Video on September 22.

“Cassandro,” directed by Academy Award winner Roger Ross Williams, is a mesmerizing journey into the life of Saúl Armendáriz. He is a gay amateur wrestler who rises to international stardom under the persona of “Cassandro,” the “Liberace of Lucha Libre.” This film is a stunning exploration of self-discovery, challenging stereotypes, and the unapologetic pursuit of one’s true self. Watch on Prime Video.

At its heart, this film is a triumphant story of resilience and self-expression.

Saúl Armendáriz’s transformation from a young boy in El Paso to an iconic figure in the world of Lucha Libre is a testament to the power of individuality. The film beautifully captures his journey, showcasing the highs and lows, the struggles and triumphs, all while celebrating the unique character that is Cassandro.

Gael García Bernal delivers a mesmerizing performance as Cassandro. He fully immerses himself in the role, bringing depth and authenticity to the character. Bernal’s portrayal is a tour de force, capturing both the vulnerability and strength of Saúl Armendáriz as he navigates a world dominated by masculinity and tradition. His charisma and on-screen presence are genuinely captivating, making it impossible to look away whenever he graces the screen.

However, “Cassandro” is not without its flaws.

The film’s runtime is a bit long and occasionally suffers from pacing issues. There are moments when the narrative seems to linger and others when it rushes through essential events. Additionally, the film only offers a surface-level glimpse into Cassandro’s childhood and upbringing, leaving audiences wanting more context and depth in understanding the forces that shaped him.

Despite these minor shortcomings, “Cassandro” remains a powerful and inspiring cinematic experience. It paints a vivid picture of the world of Lucha Libre, with all its glitz, glamour, and physicality, while delving into the personal struggles and sacrifices that come with the territory. The film’s message of embracing one’s true self and breaking free from societal expectations is universal and deeply resonant.

Roger Ross Williams’ direction is masterful, capturing the essence of Cassandro’s story with a keen eye for detail and an unwavering commitment to authenticity. The cinematography beautifully captures the colorful and chaotic world of Lucha Libre, and the soundtrack enhances the characters’ emotional journey.


I give “Cassandro” 3.5 out of 5 stars. It is a knockout of a film that deserves recognition for its powerful storytelling and outstanding performances. It may have flaws, particularly in pacing and character development. Still, it ultimately triumphs as a celebration of self-discovery and the courage to be one’s authentic self. This is a must-watch for anyone seeking inspiration and a fresh perspective on the world of professional wrestling.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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Sean Tajipour is the Founder and Editor of Nerdtropolis and the host of the Moviegoers Society Podcast. He is also a member of the Critics Choice Association. You can follow on Twitter and Instagram @Seantaj.

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