Four small gangsters from Copenhagen trick a gangster boss: they take over 4,000,000 kroner which they were supposed to bring him. Trying to escape to Barcelona they are forced to stop in ... See full summary »
In Rio, Máiquel is without prospects. He's philosophical and low-key. When he loses a bet and must dye his hair blond, life changes: he finds new confidence, he asks Cledir, the hairdresser, on a date, and when he's teased by a local tough kid, he murders him. Instead of an arrest, Máiquel's a local hero; the cops look the other way. He and Cledir become lovers, his victim's girlfriend Érica, who's 15, insists that he protect her and moves into his small flat, and job offers come his way from a group of rich men who want to settle scores and get rid of local riff-raff. Where can this business go, and what about the triangle of Cledir, Érica and Máiquel? He just wants to be normal? Written by
THE MAN OF THE YEAR, directed by Jose Henrique Fonseca, is a peculiar addition to the Vigilante Film Genre. Set in a poor section of Rio de Janeiro, Maiquel is a man without direction, who murders a thug over an insult, becomes a hero in the community, and then morphs into a kind of 'Killer For Hire'. This populist gunman becomes the darling of the local business class who immediately realize his value as a protector of their interests. Usually films of this nature explore the justification for the anti-hero's actions, and show how his violent behavior changes his character. However, in this film the protagonist seems to be driven by indifference--he kills without compunction and doesn't have the slightest trace of a moral compass. Although Christianity is referenced numerous times by various characters in the film, THE MAN OF THE YEAR is really an exploration of a man who feels nothing when he kills, and is incapable of feeling guilt. Máiquel shows more emotion when his pet pig, Bill, is killed than when he guns down defenseless men. It's interesting to note that none of his killings are fair, or even justifiable-all of them are executions, and most of them are not even his idea. Maybe the director is trying to say that in the wretched favela of Rio, a horribly cruel system of justice is better than none at all.
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