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 ... See full summary »
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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
When the 4-chapter mini-series was announced by Globo network, few people expected it to be THAT good, for the simple reason that nothing that good had been done in Brazilian television in the previous 15 years. The adaptation is efficient, departing very little from Cabral de Mello Neto's text and mood, the direction, scenography and art direction are beautiful, the humour is well balanced with adventure and drama, everything works well. But the real treat you get watching this is Nachtergale's performance as Joao Grilo. This is the production that made everyone agree that he is the best actor of his generation by a mile. Let me talk a little of what the story is about. It is not really a 'fantasy' of the writer as some American viewers (understandably) thought. The play's proposal is to be an adaptation of several texts from the tradition of 'cordel literature', typical of the Brazilian northeast (where the play is set). Those texts are mostly long poems that translate the folklore of that region. It is, of course, a very catholic area, but in a very peculiar way. Jesus ('Manuel'), Mary ('the Merciful') and the devil ARE common characters of those folk stories, and they are as 'accessibile' to people as the movie shows in Brazilian Folklore. Also from 'Cordel literature' comes the character of 'Joao Grilo'. Anyone who sees this movie and don't know Grilo should watch for Shakespeare's 'Henry IV' (the character Falstaff) and Moliere's 'Scapino'. It is sort of a universal character the court's fool, and doesn't belong to Arraes, Mello Neto or even to Brazilian Folklore.
So it is not really someone's fantasy it is the fantasy of an anonymous collective, the people from Brazil's northeastern 'sertao'. It is a great movie anyway, I just thought people would like to know the background.
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