While in the hospital, after being run over, Alaíde thinks about her life, specially after the moment she'd found the diary of Madame Clessy, in the house where her family had moved in, which was a former bordello.
In 1942, in Rio de Janeiro, the twenty-five years old Alaíde is run over while crossing Carioca Street. She arrives in coma in the hospital, and while being submitted to an emergency surgery, she recalls her life since her family moved to a former brothel, mixing hallucination, reality and memory. In her surrealistic daydream, she meets Madame Clessy, the owner of the bordello that died in 1905, killed by her seventeen years old lover, and she tells a passionate and tragic love story between her husband Pedro, her jealous sister Lúcia and herself, and how Madame Clessy died. Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
"The Wedding Dress", by Joffre Rodrigues is the best film based on a play by Nelson Rodrigues. Therefore, it is also the best Brazilian film based on any play. If people unanimously disagree with me, then they are worse off. Joffre achieved a miracle when he, not only conveyed a revolutionary play to film, but also that he created a movie that exists regardless of the play on which it is based. I would like to say that it is not only a successful adaptation, but an authentic recreation -- strictly speaking in cinematographic terms, in other words, using all available film resources. In the play, the planes of reality, memory and hallucination of Alayde's character fuse and mix together, as Nelson wished. But the theater, even when it is brilliant, has its limitations. An actor can't change his/her clothes and nor can the set be replaced instantaneously from one scene to another. But movies can do this and much more, from one plane to another -- in a millisecond, everything can change. Joffre surpassed those limits. There is no past, memory or delirium to confront reality. Everything is real (or maybe everything is past, memory or delirium). His "The Wedding Dress" reminds us of "Last Year at Mareinbad" by Alain Resnais, considered by many at the time -- 1960 -- as the only movie that could not be seen in any other media. Critics said the film was "theatrical". This is something it is absolutely not. Try to put on stage what Joffre showed on the screen -- the way he showed it. If anyone is able to do this, I'll change my name from Ruy Castro.
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