Pedro and Rui kiss after a first-anniversary dinner; Pedro drives home, dying en route in a crash. Another pair of lovers, Odete and Alberto, split over her desire to have a child. Pedro ... See full summary »
Pedro and Rui kiss after a first-anniversary dinner; Pedro drives home, dying en route in a crash. Another pair of lovers, Odete and Alberto, split over her desire to have a child. Pedro lived in Odete's building. She attends the wake, stealing a ring, a last gift from Rui, from Pedro's finger. She behaves hysterically at the graveside, and later, wearing Pedro's ring, she insists she's carrying Pedro's child. Rui grieves as well, drinking too much and seeing Pedro's apparition. Odete's obsession intrudes on Rui, whose grief makes him vulnerable to her hysteria. Can this end well? Written by
'Two drifters, off to see the world' from "Moon River"
Director João Pedro Rodrigues and writer Paulo Rebelo ('O Fantasma') collaborate again on this fascinating (if a bit frustrating) Portuguese film ODETE ('Two Drifters'). Together they have their own brand of surrealism and exploration of fantasies that seems to be developing into a smart new look for cinema. The very controversial 'O Fantasma' was dark and brooding, tearing open psyches like feral dogs along the slums of Portugal, whereas 'Two Drifters' is a work in the daylight that moves the concentration from men only to men and women - but the extremes of behavior are still in sharp focus.
The film opens with a very tender moment between handsome student Pedro (João Carreira) and his working boyfriend Rui (Nuno Gil): it is their anniversary but their individual obligations prevent them from spending more than a hasty goodbye, exchanging rings, and off goes Pedro in his car only to be killed in a crash. Devastated, Rui attends to Pedro and then to the horror of sitting by his casket during the wake before the funeral.
Flash into storyline two: the beautiful store skater Odete (Ana Cristina De Oliveira) lives with her lover Alberto (the hunky Carloto Cotta) but when she announces she would like to have a child, Alberto flees and Odete is left in depression over her plight. She just happens to be a neighbor of the recently dead Pedro and in her loneliness she attends Pedro's wake, follows the casket through the funeral and to the grave where she begins to obsess over the dead Pedro. She spends her time draped across his grave, fantasizes that she is pregnant by him and confronts Pedro's mother with the concept. She truly has pseudosiesis (false imagined hysterical pregnancy) and when it is an exposed condition she alters her appearance, cutting her hair and wearing Pedro's clothes and even convincing Pedro's mother to let her sleep in his bed. Ultimately Odete, now inhabiting the persona of Pedro, rejects Albert's return to her graces and instead enters into a bizarre arrangement with Rui.
The actors are all physically beautiful people, superbly cast to fit the models of the personalities of the story, and they manage to make this rather incredible tale credible. The film is rich in symbolism and metaphors, among them the title of the English version 'Two Drifters' - a phrase taken form the favorite fantasy song 'Moon River' that is the theme of Pedro's and Rui's relationship. There are some distorted sexual scenes and innuendos that may be off-putting to some, but the inclusion works for the story. It is a tough little film but dazzling in its brave little way of taking chances, making us eager to see what João Pedro Rodrigues will do next! Grady Harp
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