Salvador, Bahia - Brazil, alive with the charm of the 1950s, A gang of street kids known as "Capitães da Areia" (Captains of the Sands) are hunted like common criminals. As we draw closer, we see that they are just children, almost a hundred of them, completely abandoned. But they won't be children for long: by the end of this odyssey, many will have become men. A year in the lives of these boys, in which they have incredible adventures, the most wonderful dreams, visit hell, discover sex, death, freedom! Written by
Based on the novel by Jorge Amado
I'm not going to say it's an awful terrible film, because it isn't. It lacks the magic of the book, the spirit, the joy and innocence of what being a child is, the beautifully sad way in which the children of the book lived, that Amado described so very skilfully. The film is terribly fragmented, doesn't show us the soul of most characters, their backgrounds, their stories. It doesn't convey the feeling that the capitães de areia are a very tight family. It decides to focus on some parts of the book, and leave others aside completely, and in my opinion, some of the choices are trivial at best. The actors are amateurish, and the dialogue is always done in a very theatrical fake way. Some of the shots, plans and camera tricks are unnecessary and don't add anything to the film. It gives too much importance to Brazilian folklore (candomblé, capoeira and such) while it should focus on much more important aspects. I understand it is hard to convey the power and feeling of such an intense book, but i believe it is possible. That being said, I did enjoy the photography, the beautiful shots of the scenery, and the way that some scenes were explored. It was an effort, but it falls much much much short of the book.
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