My very first Portuguese movie. I was disappointed after watching it because it tells me nothing, not even a story. Later I find that it's a substantial tragicomedy about a day of a distressed and broke 40-year-old man who has heart-attack alarm and does not know what to do with his career as a copywriter in an advertising agency, (he is trying to write a slogan for an insurance company but his mind is "constipated"). It's all because of the title of the movie "Uma Vida Normal" that I find the movie agreeable. Normal, ordinary life of a stressed working man in an urban city named Lisbon, it's a faithful presentation.
Extremely bad days of poor Miguel Martins who has a blocked mind that gives no out-put and a row with a co-worker in the office. His half-dressed ex-wife is quarrelling with her present boy-friend when he visits her and the encounter is resulted in an even hotter quarrel between the two men. His present girl-friend demands too much sex-play from him, she ties his hands and legs on the bed posts and threatens to amputate his genital with an electric saw. Finally, he cannot but pay a prostitute he meets in a bar when heavily drinking and smoking there. She comes to his rescue, he needs no sex and at last he can write something wonderful and new while the hooker is sleeping.
People may find Joaquim De Almeida's face familiar but not his news because he is more popular in Spanish and Portuguese speaking worlds. Hollywood is still the big brother of world movie industry. It defines all Spanish or Portuguese speaking people from Latin America as killer, drug-dealers and sex lunatic, so you can see this fine actor De Almeida playing all these roles in Hollywood movies, just unfair. I think his native Portugal does him more justice. About the director Joaquim Leitão, he is a well-respected film-maker in Portugal who has brought along a new scenario into the local movie scene.
Picture that, an actor who speaks Portuguese, Spanish, German, Italian, English, French (and one more unknown) all fluently, you can never tell where he's going to work for the next project, De Almeida works across both Americas and Europe extensively. How I envy his language flair, I want to speak (+ write of course) seven language impeccably too.
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