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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Não Por Acaso (Not By Chance) is an intelligent film, but not a
particularly exciting one.
The opening "act" is slow-going, as director Philippe Barcinski painstakingly introduces the two main characters: lonely, divorced traffic engineer Enio (Leonardo Medeiros) and billiard player and billiard-table maker Pedro (Rodrigo Santoro). Both are thrown into despair when a São Paulo traffic accident claims the lives of Enio's ex-wife and Pedro's girlfriend.
Not a whole lot happens in the rest of the film, as Enio gets to know a daughter who had been raised by his ex-wife and her new family and Pedro finds himself drawn to the beautiful successful woman (Letícia Sabatella) who is renting his late girlfriend's apartment. Enio mopes through the film and Medeiros isn't given much of a chance to make him more interesting. Santoro has the potentially more compelling role but the filmmakers don't do much with the character. Santoro and Sabatella, however, are at least easy on the eyes.
The film contains some interesting shots of São Paulo and succeeds in sustaining its melancholy mood throughout (not necessarily to the benefit of the viewer). A smart film that's well-acted but not one that will stick in the memory for long.