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In a dangerous but human Rio de Janiro's slum, rises the love affair between Orfeu, a famous composer, and Eurídice, a simple but pretty brunette, provoking jealousy and violence in times of carnival. A kind of Brazilian Romeo and Juliet, full of samba. Written by
Fabio Ornelas <email@example.com>
Ancient Greek mythology meets 90s Brazilian telenovela
Orfeu mixes elements of Greek mythology and classical theatre with Brazilian telenovelas. That may sound like a recipe for disaster, but to me the director actually pulled it off.
It was fascinating to me as someone from Western Europe to see how different life in the favelas is (both in good and bad ways), and to see the ancient Greek story set in such a different context. The cinematography is also great.
I can see how some would be disappointed if they were expecting to get immersed into a convincing story set in the midst of a full blown carnival extravaganza though.
The main characters Orfeu and Euridice didn't really come to life to me as genuine likable individuals that I could identify with, but more as the original Greek personas. However most other members of the cast did not have this "problem" and provided plenty of convincing drama.
Also although we are treated to some scenes of the amazing Rio carnival, the director doesn't really seem to immerse us in that world of extravagance. We are almost looking at it from a distance, as if to say it's not that important to the actual story.
To sum it all up: what makes Brazil interesting is that it is such a melting pot, and melting very different elements into a lively stew is exactly what happens in Orfeu. It may not always be that easy to digest, but boring it is not!
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