Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Two teenage Mexican-American loners in 1987 El Paso explore a new, unusual friendship and the difficult road to self-discovery.

  • Released: 2022-09-10
  • Runtime: 96 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, Romance
  • Stars: Max Pelayo, Sam Bayarra, Kevin Alejandro, Horacio Abaroa, Eugenio Derbez, Natalie Camunas, Eva Longoria, Isabella Gomez, Reese Gonzales, Hanani Taylor, Veronica Falcón, Maynor Alvarado, Luna Blaise, Diego Parra, Marlene Forte, Martin Morales, Emiliano Torres, Jose Diaz
  • Director: Aitch Alberto
  • karlandrewcruz - 29 May 2024
    Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
    Summary: "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" is a coming-of-age novel by Benjamin Alire Sáenz, first published on February 21, 2012. Set in El Paso, Texas, in 1987, the story follows two Mexican-American teenagers, Aristotle "Ari" Mendoza and Dante Quintana, as they navigate friendship, racial and ethnic identity, sexuality, and family relationships. The novel has received widespread critical acclaim and numerous accolades.

    Plot Overview: In the summer of 1987, 15-year-old Aristotle Mendoza meets Dante Quintana at the local pool. Bonding over their classical names, they become inseparable. Dante teaches Ari about literature and poetry, while Ari admires Dante's swimming ability and sincerity. When Dante moves to Chicago for a year, they promise to remain friends. Dante later confesses his love for Ari, who struggles to reciprocate. After Dante is attacked for kissing another boy, Ari eventually accepts his own feelings for Dante, leading to a heartfelt conclusion where Ari embraces his love for Dante.

    Personal Connection: I cannot remember the last time I watched a movie twice in a row until this one. The book series changed my life when I randomly picked it up at a bookstore and couldn't put it down. Seeing Ari and Dante come to life on screen was breathtaking. Their story, both in the book and the movie, moves me to tears every time. This adaptation was perfect, with every scene captured beautifully and the story told just as it should be. The casting was spot-on, and the entire experience left an indelible mark on my heart.

    Cinematic Experience: Spellbinding from start to finish, this beautiful movie effortlessly weaves a tapestry of emotions. The cinematography is breathtaking, capturing the essence of each scene with grace. The stellar performances and captivating storyline make it a cinematic masterpiece that lingers in your thoughts long after the credits roll.

    Conclusion: "Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe" is not just a movie but an emotional journey that perfectly captures the essence of the novel. The impeccable casting, stunning cinematography, and faithful adaptation make it a must-watch for both fans of the book and newcomers alike. This story will forever hold a special place in my heart.
  • rannynm - 21 October 2023
    In This Cinema Era Of Super Heroes And Special Effects, This Film Offers A Refreshing Story That Is Right Up My Alley
    Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe emerges in this convoluted cinema era of super heroes and special effects offering a refreshing story. Everything from the storyline, to the cinematography and indie film style is right up my alley.

    The story begins in 1987 with a boy named Aristotle (Max Pelayo) who keeps to himself. He goes to the local swimming pool in hopes of learning to swim and meets Dante (Reese Gonzales). The two instantly click as they realize they have a lot in common and start hanging out every day. Dante moves away for a year but the two boys exchange letters and remain in contact. Both Dante and Aristotle have a long road of self-discovery ahead, but that doesn't interfere with the strong connection between them.

    I love how this film deals with so many different themes all at once -- family dilemmas, sexuality, self-growth, and ethnic identity. I always relate to seeing Latino representation in films; Aristotle is Mexican and I love that this film has a lot to do with his heritage. The cinematography is delicate and bright as is the overall aesthetic of the film. My favorite scene is when Aristotle and Dante tie their Converse shoes together and hang them on a light post at night. The lighting and simple concept of tying their shoes together is so beautiful; especially in the way that scene is shot. It is so powerful and meaningful. The acting is also impressive. Max Pelayo's portrayal of Aristotle is terrific - despite Aristotle having lots of inner conflicts, Max portrays him in such a beautiful way. I love Reese Gonzales as Dante as well; Dante is a very awkward person but in the cutest way and Reese captures that dichotomy and plays into that tricky kind of feel. I'm a huge fan of Eugenio Derbez, who plays Jamie Mendoza, Aristotle's dad. He's such an incredible actor. Eva Longoria, as Dante's mom, and Veronica Falcon, as Aristotle's mom, both really caught my attention. I love how both moms are so different and both love their kids infinitely. Veronica is the perfect example of a Mexican mom. I wish Eva had more screen time but nevertheless she is great. This film is based on a novel with the same name by Benjamin Alire Sáenz and is produced by Eugenio Derbez and Lin-Manuel Miranda who narrates the audio book.

    The film's message is that true love always prevails, but takes time. Please note that it contains some strong violence, strong language, sexual material, teen drug and alcohol use and smoking.

    I give Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. It releases in theaters, HBO and Netflix September 8, 2023. By Zoe C., KIDS FIRST!