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The lively João Grilo and the sly Chicó are poor guys living in the hinterland who cheat a bunch of people in a small Northeast Brazil town. But when they die, they have to be judged by Christ, the Devil and the Virgin Mary, before they are admitted to paradise. Written by
1- This movie is an adaptation from a original play and smaller works from the same author (1955).
2- This is not how Brazil is today in the country side but how it was at the beginning of the 20 century (circa 1920). Sort of Brazilian Wild West (in our case Wild East).
3- This was a TV series much longer and was reduced to almost 1/3 of its original size for the theaters and DVD due to the great viewers ratings of the TV series.
4- Much of the jokes and characters are local to the region shown in the movie: Sertão Brasileiro.
5- To understanding the movie you should really know Brazilian Portuguese, some local accents related to the plot and the colloquial words used make it very tricky to translate, and in many cases, impossible. I watched also with English subtitles, and believe me: most of the jokes are gone.
6- There is no parallels between this movie and "Cidade de Deus" (City of God). You can argue about the technical aspects of them but for me, is like comparing "much ado about nothing" (from Shakespeare) and American Pie. To really appreciate "much ado..." you you must master the English Victorian world completely (of course... its out of my league. Eng. is not my first !). Or like old Italian comedies from the 60 and 70 where many joke relay on gestures that a foreign just cant understand.
7- And about the religious ending, its a joke inside the joke. And of course, if you cut a work that takes 3 1/2 hours to just 90 minutes and thinks that its the same thing.
...for example, for a native Brazilian, its just hilarious to see a black Jesus, a Zelot Devil and organized one following rules by the book.
In the other hand, you could compare this movie to DOGMA (Kevin Smith). And its way better than DOGMA.
Thats all folks...
And of course... I'm a Brazilian.
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