A trip to the mental institution hell. This odyssey is lived by Neto, a middle class teenager, who lives a normal life until his father sends him to a mental institution after finding drugs... See full summary »
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A trip to the mental institution hell. This odyssey is lived by Neto, a middle class teenager, who lives a normal life until his father sends him to a mental institution after finding drugs on his pocket. The marijuana cigarette is just the final drop that exposes the family tragedy. Send to a mental institution, Neto gets to know a completely absurd, inhumane reality in which the people are devoured by a corrupt and cruel institution system. The documentary type language used by the director give this movie a sensation of realty that increases even more the impact of the emotions Neto goes through. In the mental institution, Neto is forced to mature. The transformations that he goes through change this relations with his father. Written by
"Bicho de sete cabeças" is based on a true story, but it somehow resembles an overlong advertising spot with documentary posturing. Director Laís Bodanzky tries to make it look harsh and real, but few situations ring true, not the least those related to the young. This is quite obvious when the filmmakers try to find a cinematic equivalent to the perceptive alterations of a person under the influence of drugs. Back in the 1960's one could pass such naiveté as a Roger Corman joke in the face of lack of budget, but today it seems rather clumsy. Although he is too old for the leading role of Neto, Rodrigo Santoro gives a startling performance. As a matter of fact, it is his work that holds the movie together. Unfortunately, he has to deal with a weak script that opts for stereotypes: this is not a bad option per se, but it clashes with the film's intention to create a documentary climate. When the family visits Santoro in the sanatorium, for example, incoherence reigns, sister makes dumb remarks, mother smokes, while father bursts into his usual rhetoric. Poor Othon Bastos does his best to bring a bit of humanity out of his role as the father, loaded with clichéd dialogues. Hugo Kovensky's cinematography is also outstanding but in the end the script and the direction betray the intentions of the rest concerned. 6/10
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