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||IMDB Rating: 6.1/10 from N/A votes
||Release: 21 Apr 1999 /
||Genre: Crime, Drama, Music
||Director: Carlos Diegues,
||Stars: Crime, Drama, Music
||Synopsis: In a dangerous but human Rio's slum, rises the love affair betwen Orfeu and Eurídice, provoking jealousy and violence in times of carnival.
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Rio de Janeiro in widescreen CinemaScope is quite a sight, that´s for sure,
and the carnival parade with the famous escolas de samba (samba schools) do
sound great in digital sound. But money (it cost some U$ 7 million, a record
for Brazilian standards) and the technology it can buy does not make a good
film, especially if it´s a tragic love story, like this one.
Two awful leads (Tony Garrido and Patrícia França) play Orfeu and Euridice,
who are supposed to be in love, but we just have to take their word for it.
Their love, and the movie, takes place in a Rio favela (shanty town),
located high up in the hills of the city. It´s a fascinating set (built
entirely for the shooting) which stands-in for a fascinating Brazilian
inner-world, packed, in real life, with its own special rules and laws which
the movie prefers to ignore.
As it is, Orfeu shows us a great set, rather than the interesting parallel
society it seems to be examining. Walter Salles´ Central Station did a
pretty good job at rendering its station with documentary-like accuracy.
Orfeu renders its favela with soap opera-like consistency.
It´s a pity, because some of the supporting characters almost come to life.
Orfeu´s parents, Zezé Motta and Milton Gonçalves, display the respect and
dignity their small favela roles demand. Isabel Fillardis also makes an
impression, as one of Orfeu´s women who may have had a big break after
making the Playboy centerfold. But these are characters who have little
screen time, although Brazilian music superstar, Caetano Veloso, does get an
overlong and rather embarassing cameo appearance. You can´t miss him. He´s
the animatronic-like puppet, playing a guitar on somebody´s roof.
Diegues, who made the excellent Bye Bye Brazil, in 1980, seems to be so
infatuated with his toys (the movie is technically very good) that he loses
it altogether, especially in a story set in the dog days of Brazilian
carnival, but totally devoid of the unique atmosphere of the Brazilian
carnival. A turkey.
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