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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Film Review: GOD IS BRAZILIAN


Title: God is Brazilian (Deus É Brasileiro)
Language: Brazilian (Portuguese)
Year of Release: 2003
Director: Carlos Diegues
Cast: Antônio Fagundes, Wagner Moura, Paloma Duarte, Bruce Gomlevsky and Stepan Nercessian
Genre: Picaresque, Travel, Comedy, Adventure, Fantasy
What happens if God is bored! With his own creation - Man. A comic adventure fantasy, God Is Brazil is a conceptual comedy. God (Antonio Fagundes) decides to take a break. Wants to go on vacation. Comes to earth, lands up in Brazil. The country is supposed to be the most religious country with most believers and more church-goers and many more missionaries than other countries. And he finds that a certain 'Quinca of the Mules' is a person worthy to be canonised so that Quinca can take His place until He returns from the vacation. God is joined by Toaca (Wagner Moura), a conman and a cheat and a fisherman son of a guy who owns a tire puncture shop on the beachside high-way of the picturesque north-east Brazil. And the two are appended with by the beautiful and young girl Mada (Paloma Duarte), who decides to join them on their way through Sao Paulo to the Bacuta Valley. This is one helluva pleasure ride both in physical sense as well as psychological sense. Deeply refreshing and really redeeming in its quality, it is really touching as well as infinitely funny. You would want to own a copy of the transcript.
Owning the transcript would not suffice simply because a transcript would never capture the cinematography or the beauty of the locales or the changing scenescapes. The movie courses through a truly poverty-stricken Brazil, but never for a moment does one feel the alarming horror in a very irkingly realistic sense to leave you feeling you have watched a stark exposition of the darker side of life. Picture this scene... God and Toaca are walking through the streets. God naturally does not feel hunger or fatigue. Toaca is a jolly go lucky guy who has no scruples when he want food or pleasure. And suddenly he hears music. Death wail... someone has died. The implication: there would be food for the mourners who come to condole. Unceremoniously he enters the house, turns his nose in the direction of the right information and joins the mourners... The almost surreal nakedness of his frivolous act of absurd seeking for food in a tragic circumstance takes the edge of what would otherwise had been a serious moment in parallel cinema! Instances are many.
And finally God does meet Quinca. Surprise surprise, the latter does not believe in God. A moment of anagnorisis leading to a personal hubris for God who gives vent to a fury unabated that makes God human in our eyes. After all, He is our Creation.
The movie comes from the man who gave us Bye Bye Brazil, back in 1979. What a romp, is all I can say!

7 comments:

antickpix said...

Hmm, seems like an interesting watch. I do hope you haven't spoilt the ending..

Anand Ramamoorthy said...

Dear KK,
looks like you have been posting at top speed...lol
I guess I must watch the movie, as you say, let's see.
off to your Novel Space..

SARVAM SRIKRISHNAARPANAMASTHU!

Krishna Kumar said...

I haven't talked about the ending, have I? But I guess these on the road movies are always predictable for their ending. There may be a bit of a twist though not a surprise, for you.

Krishna Kumar said...

Anand, yes, I have been working furiously. When thoughts hit me, they hit me. Couple more on their way. Am sure they would be as global or international and as irritatingly aggressive as I get. Love writing on international controversies and conspiracies. I virtually have a conspiracy theory for every thing. ::-P

antickpix said...

And finally God does meet Quinca. Surprise surprise, the latter does not believe in God. A moment of anagnorisis leading to a personal hubris for God who gives vent to a fury unabated that makes God human in our eyes. After all, He is our Creation.

Seemed like a giveaway, but I'll take your word for it.

Gounder Brownie said...

Sounds like a good film to watch! Reminds me of 'Baba' for some reason, hehehe!

Krishna Kumar said...

Baba... Dhadha (that is Bosskey's latest play!)... c'mon GB! I am not going to say God IS... is the greatest film, but a lot of fun. Other films I would like to recommend that I saw recently, though by no means new: Good Bye, Lenin (2002) - a poignant funny look at the impact of the Fall of the Berlin Wall. I saw it back in Germany. And saw the dvd recently from tic-tac for review purposes. Highly recommended. And of course, the Magnum Opus by my most favourite actor of all times - Gerard Depardieu, that French maverick actor - Cyrano de Bergerac (based on the play of same title by Edmund Rostand). Brilliant is not a sufficient word for Depardieu's performance. And after 5 weeks am still gushing over Brad Davies in Midnight Express. I will be watching Henry and June - based on Henry Miller's life. Should be interesting. bvcifucs says my WVerif!