Portrait of troubled middle-class young men living in Rio de Janeiro. With no attention from their parents, they turn to urban violence, as a compensation. A group of friends decide to ... See full summary »
Portrait of troubled middle-class young men living in Rio de Janeiro. With no attention from their parents, they turn to urban violence, as a compensation. A group of friends decide to kidnap a rich youngster to get some money to spend during the Carnival. Written by
(Un)inspired by Mathieu Kassovitz's powerful "La Haine", this ludicrous testosterone-addicted tragic farce "Ódiquê?" (a neologism meaning "ódio de quê?", "hate for what?") follows 24 hours in the life of three 20-something jackass middle-class friends in Rio de Janeiro, who decide to fake the kidnapping of a wealthy buddy so they can collect money to travel to paradisaical beach Arraial d'Ajuda for the Carnaval.
First-time feature film director Felipe Joffily and first-time screenwriter Gustavo Moretzsohn prove that being graduated at NYU Film School doesn't necessarily translate into minimum quality cinema: the plot is a mess and the film looks amateurish even by Youtube standards (I wonder if their NYU teachers saw the film and what was their appreciation of it). Considering it took four years between the writing and the actual shooting, it's alarming how appalling the final script is, with holes, digressions and contrivances enough to madden the most indulgent viewer. It's like a collage of amateur improv acting classes, only there are no real actors at work here (with the exception of old pros Cássia Kiss and Henri Pagnoncelli in embarrassing cameos), just shirtless MTV-type models trying their turn as gross apes with jackass ideas of fun (TV hottie Cauã Reymond is so unskilled he cracks in some of the "dramatic" scenes).
There are serious sound problems, and we can only thank our gods that we can't hear part of the indescribable dialog. The direction is so confusing that we have to waste precious neurons linking the dots between the scenes and figuring out the most basic contradictions, like how these penniless guys have got their own cars and motorbikes or how the shootings cause no stir in the neighborhood. And there is a scene to be inscribed among the most cringe-worthy ever made, where Reymond's character terrorizes a kid who is retarded AND homeless AND black for the fun of it -- it's the kind of cheap, falsely provocative, sickening scene that makes you want to throw rotten eggs at the screen (but then you realize it's not the screen's fault, and anyway you haven't brought rotten eggs with you).
"Ódiquê?" lay on the shelf for three years before finding theatrical distribution, only to open to dismal box-office and critical reception, proving that sometimes distributors, critics and audiences DO agree. "Ódiquê?" wants to be controversial and denunciative when it's just prejudiced, misogynist, scandal-hungry tabloid-cinema: it belongs in the same movie limbo as the excruciating "Cama de Gato" -- films that are best unseen and forgotten. P.S.: to top it all, the DVD transcription has technical problems of its own!
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