A Dog's Will (2000) Poster


User Reviews

Review this title
25 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
A must see!
jungpfeffer9 July 2003
It's hard to find actors with as much charisma and on-screen chemistry as this movie's main duo. Throw in an impeccable script and various Cameos by Brazil's biggest and brightest stars, and you'll have one of the funniest movies ever made (and my personal favorite amongst the post-1980s Brazilian productions. The only downside of this movie is that it was originally a four-hour TV mini-series; the two-hour version is inevitably condensed. If you have the option of choosing between them, go for the complete work. If not... well, half the laugh is still better than no laugh.
28 out of 31 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A rough guide to life, love and death
m-heintz130 July 2006
O Auto de Compadecida is a funny film, in more ways than one. At first, I was baffled by the storyline, or rather, by the lack of a storyline such as I'm used to. If you expect the first five or ten minutes of a film being devoted to introducing the characters, their backgrounds, and their passions, you'll find yourself puzzled by this flick. There is hardly any introduction or explanation, and such as is offered appears exactly at the appropriate moments. The film is also funny in content. The main characters are a teller of unlikely stories and a schemer of impossible schemes, who never reach the third dimension, but then, there's no need for that: the burlesque quality and speed of the scenes thrive on these two men being cartoon characters rather than real people. And truly, an in-depth character would be highly out of place in a scene which involves Jesus, Mary, and Lucifer doodling in the margins of a book--using blood as ink, naturally. Highly enjoyable.
23 out of 25 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Avoid the misunderstandings
fredmontier30 June 2010
Before watching it, get this straight !

1- This movie is an adaptation from a original play and smaller works from the same author (1955).

2- This is not how Brazil is today in the country side but how it was at the beginning of the 20 century (circa 1920). Sort of Brazilian Wild West (in our case Wild East).

3- This was a TV series much longer and was reduced to almost 1/3 of its original size for the theaters and DVD due to the great viewers ratings of the TV series.

4- Much of the jokes and characters are local to the region shown in the movie: Sertão Brasileiro.

5- To understanding the movie you should really know Brazilian Portuguese, some local accents related to the plot and the colloquial words used make it very tricky to translate, and in many cases, impossible. I watched also with English subtitles, and believe me: most of the jokes are gone.

6- There is no parallels between this movie and "Cidade de Deus" (City of God). You can argue about the technical aspects of them but for me, is like comparing "much ado about nothing" (from Shakespeare) and American Pie. To really appreciate "much ado..." you you must master the English Victorian world completely (of course... its out of my league. Eng. is not my first !). Or like old Italian comedies from the 60 and 70 where many joke relay on gestures that a foreign just cant understand.

7- And about the religious ending, its a joke inside the joke. And of course, if you cut a work that takes 3 1/2 hours to just 90 minutes and thinks that its the same thing.

...for example, for a native Brazilian, its just hilarious to see a black Jesus, a Zelot Devil and organized one following rules by the book.

In the other hand, you could compare this movie to DOGMA (Kevin Smith). And its way better than DOGMA.

Thats all folks...

And of course... I'm a Brazilian.
29 out of 33 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It's folklore
fabiogaucho6 September 2004
When the 4-chapter mini-series was announced by Globo network, few people expected it to be THAT good, for the simple reason that nothing that good had been done in Brazilian television in the previous 15 years. The adaptation is efficient, departing very little from Cabral de Mello Neto's text and mood, the direction, scenography and art direction are beautiful, the humour is well balanced with adventure and drama, everything works well. But the real treat you get watching this is Nachtergale's performance as Joao Grilo. This is the production that made everyone agree that he is the best actor of his generation by a mile. Let me talk a little of what the story is about. It is not really a 'fantasy' of the writer as some American viewers (understandably) thought. The play's proposal is to be an adaptation of several texts from the tradition of 'cordel literature', typical of the Brazilian northeast (where the play is set). Those texts are mostly long poems that translate the folklore of that region. It is, of course, a very catholic area, but in a very peculiar way. Jesus ('Manuel'), Mary ('the Merciful') and the devil ARE common characters of those folk stories, and they are as 'accessibile' to people as the movie shows in Brazilian Folklore. Also from 'Cordel literature' comes the character of 'Joao Grilo'. Anyone who sees this movie and don't know Grilo should watch for Shakespeare's 'Henry IV' (the character Falstaff) and Moliere's 'Scapino'. It is sort of a universal character – the court's fool, and doesn't belong to Arraes, Mello Neto or even to Brazilian Folklore. So it is not really someone's fantasy – it is the fantasy of an anonymous collective, the people from Brazil's northeastern 'sertao'. It is a great movie anyway, I just thought people would like to know the background.
29 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The greatest Brazilian comedy ever!!! (for Brazilians)
maidenmaniac24 February 2006
"O Auto da Compadecida" figures as the best Brazilian comedy of all times, not only for the jokes itself but for the social and economical context that it shows!! Showing the northeast poor situation it shows an atmosphere that can only be understanded by Brazilians and third world countries citizens.

The movie tells the story of joão grilo and chicó two poor friends that uses their smart to survive. sometimes honestly and sometimes tricking the richer and stronger people. With a smart and simple humor it makes you laugh from the first to the last minute, don't having to appeal to nudity and deliberated violence!!

This one is one of the greatest comedies ever and should be watched by everyone who can understand it context!!
21 out of 24 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Best brazilian Movie ( i mean,...)
jdavidjf7 May 2019
It was a serie wich was compacted into a movie. Era uma série que foi compactada em filme. In spit of it..... it became the best comedy movie ever here.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Sensational Brazilian Tale
patygirl_df7 May 2001
Warning: Spoilers

Imagine a fantastic tale about two unique characters in a not so expounded Brazil. Now add the most intelligent and splendid humor and the most talented performances of the always great Selton Melo and the phenomenon Matheus Nachtergaele. Don't forget that the funny Denise Fraga and Diogo Vilela are in the production, as the wonderful Lima Duarte, Marco Nanini and Rogério Cardoso. If you are still not convinced that this is just one of the best movies ever made, remember that the only Brazilian actress ever nominated to an Oscar is priceless as the Compadecida.

I guess I've convinced you all, haven't I? So, have a lot of fun, watching one of the most inventive, original and authentic Brazilian movie. I know that a lot of jokes will be untranslatable and it will be very hard to related with that reality, but I know that it isn't impossible because I know that there's poverty in everywhere in this world and I know that there's corruption in Catholic churches in everywhere in this world and I know that people cheat their husbands in everywhere in the world.

The unique Brazilian touch is the humor of the two protagonists, one is the most creative liar and the other is the most sprightly illiterate guy. While Chicó spends his time getting trouble and telling the most incredible things that "happen" to him, João Grilo uses all the briskness that he has to take them out of the trouble and just survive.

The thing is that Chicó's last trouble was huge and João Grilo ended up being killed by a bandit. That's one of the most funny scenes, he has to be solved in a trial, so that he can goes to Haven. Since he used to commit a lot of sins, the only way to get out of this is with Mary's help.

It's really rare to find a comedy that succeeds criticizing important groups of the society, making us reflect, criticizing concepts (Jesus is black) and that also make us don't stop laughing during the entire movie. Just great! Don't miss it!
6 out of 8 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
bmeirinho31 March 2002
This movie is wonderful!! One of the best Brazilian movies ever. Simple scenery, good sound and music, good actors, screenplay and directing, everything done with care and without much technology, and the result is a great and comfortable movie.
10 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
the Brazilian Terry Gilliam
natachapoggio4 October 2003
It is amazing how, from the very beginning of this movie, you notice the influence that Terry Gilliam has had on this Brazilian director. The movie has the twists and craziness you would expect of "Adventures of Baron Munchausen", but from the third world, portraying incredible well the way people try to survive where there is not much for them anyway. "O Auto da Compadecida" is definitely a very good movie, with talented actors and unexpected plot. Must-see.
11 out of 23 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Just great...
mpreza20 June 2001
This movie it's wonderful . It says that the Brazil can do great comedies.Shows a creative and hilarious story about two mens ,with different personalities Chicó (the liar) and João Grilo (the smart one)living the most funny history you'll ever heard...
8 out of 16 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Amazing movie !!!
soudixzaron10 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Amazing movie !!!! I cry a lot when they die ! I recomend this movie for everyone !
2 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Green and Yelow Movie
maralvimmm17 June 2018
A film with Brazilian scent and taste, hilarious and country side, that shows and plays with mystical and authentic figures, in a very good way, with actors that incorporate the climate. Film that was done next to a remarkable series of the TV and that obtained the prowess of presenting well two works connected, but perfectly free to occupy their spaces. I recommend!

The filmmaker is the Pernambuco Guel Arraes, who develops exquisite works, many on TV and some pearls in the cinema, after that film made two exquisite, one a hilarious story about the discovery of Brazil with Caramuru: The Invention of Brazil (2001) and the another a novel similar to this one in this post, a hilarious movie, great called: Lisbela and the Prisoner (2003).
1 out of 1 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A very funny movie, specially for Brazilians!
jofilho16 August 2011
This movie is a film adaptation of a very funny and traditional Brazilian story. The actors are very good and the director created the perfect ambiance for the scenes. It's a movie about a very particular Brazilian way of life. You will not find at this movie big cities like São Paulo or Rio, or big forests like Amazon, nothing. You will find the Sertão: a deserted area in Brazil where a lot of people lives with few resources and needs to use the creativity to survive. Maybe, for non-Brazilians, the language can be a problem, because most of the jokes have some linguistic aspect. But this is not a very big problem. The film is funny for everybody and have a good message at the end.
3 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Showing that brazilian cinema can also be REALLY good !
MrPupkin24 October 2019
One of my favorite Brazilian movies. Matheus Nachtergaele and Selton Mello did a terrific job together. The movie is funny, colorful, engaging and has a little bit of culture from the northeast of Brazil. Definitely a must watch movie.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Comedy at its finest
rafaelacurcio14 August 2019
Great movie that aged really well, a very Brazilian way of comedy.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
You laught, you cry, and you rethink your life after this movie
rayonnunes14 August 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This is a story about poverty, a story about a smart humble man using trickery to get a job, avoid a massacre and fool the devil itself to save the soul of his beloved ones.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Great Brazilian Comedy
seankuchida14 August 2019
This movie is inspired by Ariano Suassuna's screenplay (which goes by the same name). It treats the "auto" (religious play) genre in a amazing and comical manner, the actors did an amazing job performing their roles. And despite being an theater adaptation, it manages to be as good as the play (the experience of reading it, I never watched it live) itself.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
joserobertobarbosa6 March 2019
The best Brazilian film of all time. Humor and deep interpretation.
0 out of 0 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Top 3 movie Brazilian
miguelneto-7493610 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
O Auto Compadecida no doubt is in the Top 3 of the best Brazilian film , based on a TV series with the same name , the film is fun and funny, the cast is very good, the protagonist duo has great chemistry , the jokes are good , and the film has participation of the Devil, Jesus is Mary, even it is interpreted by the great Fernanda Montenegro , the direction is good , the picture is beautiful , in my opinion O Auto Compadecida was the last Brazilian film that is really funny, because after only came movies bland, O Auto Compadecida has great humor, a good soundtrack , good performances , is certainly top three Brazilian films . Note 8.9
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
One of the greatest comedies ever.
Thaya_Cardoas23 July 2012
It's a fantastic movie. Really amazing. I laugh all the time during this movie and I consider it one of the best Brazilian comedies ever, by far. It's a must see movie!

Now, if you're not Brazilian and want to watch this movie first you have to know: - It's not just a screwball comedy, it's much more than that. If you never read or heard about Shakespeare before watching an adaptation of one of his plays you would think that of some of his great works as well. It's much the same thing here, it's based on a play by Ariano Suassuana.

  • The religious part is not, I repeat, not just pure mockery. And it's supposed to be taken seriously as an offense. It is simply something that we often see in the cordel literature because the Northeast Brazilians in general are Catholics and this is a way of expressing their faith. And yes, there is comedy in the middle of the religious display, because it is essentially a comedy.

  • It is - as any other movie that, of course, is not based on real facts - something made up on the sole purpose of amusing people so please enjoy it.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
It is a master piece of Brazilian cinema.
tuana-oliveira3 January 2012
Warning: Spoilers
As I said this movie is a master-piece of Brazilian cinema. However, if you are not Brazilian you should have something in mind before you watch this. This movies is a comedy that mocks catholic church and how the so-called christians go to church but outside the church they are greedy, cheaters and corrupt.

The two main characters are a reflect of the poor people, that most of the times have to become smart-asses to have food on their tables. This explains the so-called "Brazilian way" (jeitinho brasileiro). Even if you are good at heart, you will die of hunger if you don't fight for survival. No one will help you (not even church).

The movie also shows how a small town in the northeast region is usually structured. Every small town has a church and one rich farmer that gets all the good landing to plant and make money. So poor people work their asses of, but all the money goes to church and the farmer. On the dry season it's even worse and many people migrate to the urban centers searching for a better life. It is inevitable that some of them will become robbers.

But the main purpose of the play is to show that in the end, everyone is the same. They all go to the same place when they die. And in the case of those who believe in the catholic faith, you will be judged by your actions.

This is a really common kind of comedy in Brazil. We tell a sad story using comedy, because we believe that laughing at our problems is the best way to have strength to face them.

I've read a review complaining about the characters yelling all the time, that is because people from the northeast have a really particular accent, and it is really funny for people from the rest of the country. Even I find that accent funny, and I have a mild version of that accent. It's like a dialect from the northeast.

I really feel that for a foreigner this movie won't have the same effect that it has to Brazilians. Many of the jokes were missed, specially the ones that play with the words. But it is still an interesting movie because of the social context, the photography and the popular cordel poetry.

That is by far my favorite Brazilian movie, and this is not a critique to our cinema, which has had really great pieces over the years.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Best Brazilian comedy ever made
felipe232 January 2007
That's an excellent movie. It shows that Brazil has achieved a mature level when it comes to movies. It exploits Brazilian culture and social problems, just like the great productions made in our country. It worries those that care about our cinema, because our directors always use this kind of plot, what may be dangerous. We should vary our themes. But that's a higher degree, and we gotta take one step after another. However, it is, in my personal opinion, the best comedy ever made in Brazil. A must see film. If you're not from Brazil and, occasionally or not, found yourself in this web page, be sure that's a good sample of contemporary Brazilian productions. I recommend also "Cidade de Deus" (but this one you should have already seen), "O Homem que Copiava" and "Dois Filhos de Francisco". If you like comedy, Os Normais (this one may be more difficult to find outside Brazil) is a great choice. Oh, coming back to O Auto da Compadecida, it's an adaptation of a very famous Brazilian book and the acting is great, just like the direction and the photograph (the film takes place in the Sertão Nordestino, like many others, and, like I said, shows Brazilian poverty in a satiric way.
1 out of 2 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Lost in Cultural Translation
witness-714 July 2014
I viewed this movie based on the many recommendations here and elsewhere. I'm no stranger to Brazilian cinema, though I do not profess to be anything close to familiar with it -- at least with comedy. (More from the drama and crime veins.) And I know enough of Portuguese to barely get by (and even have a native Portuguese-speaking wife).

The story is over-acted, but you kind of have to give it a pass for that as an adaptation from the original stage play. So manners, expressions, and exchanges are all exaggerated for the stage but put on film. It comes on pretty thick.

Then there's the subject matter of the story and comedy itself. I love parody, but the sort of social, class, and religious satire that dominates this movie seems very predictable and trite from a modern American's perspective. Here's where I think much of it was lost in translation for me: cultural and historical translation. The jokes seem forced, and many of the situations follow the absurd misunderstandings of an episode of 1970s TV's "Three's Company".

I can only guess that the subject matter may have been taboo or shocking at the time to make cynical jokes about how, say, the priesthood might respond differently based on money and class. But in today's world where we have the realities of child abuse scandals and the like, it comes off too dated and quaint to have much impact by comparison to all that we know today.

The comedy itself lacks variety, relentlessly focusing on the topic of social, class, and religious stratifications and hypocrisies. As such it's quite one dimensional, so if the social play of poor people tricking more influential people to interpret things differently according to their egos and financial interests doesn't provide a wealth of laughs for you, the movie falls completely flat and drones on the topic incessantly.

I made it through to the end, but I kind of wish I had stopped sooner. Definitely for specific tastes of humor.
3 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Much ado about nothing
Elori24 December 2005
I must confess, I think O Auto da Compadecida is the only Brazilian movie I have seen. Nevertheless, I certainly hope this isn't the best the country has to offer. What you have here is a religious screwball comedy, and unfortunately, neither side of that equation works.

As a screwball comedy, the movie is based simply on the characters shouting a lot and acting like complete idiots. That is supposed to create comedy, but there is nothing funny about the characters' complete turnovers on the weakest possible motivations. Some of the plot line is good, like the early introduction of the bandits, but most of it is just a detached mess to make the characters run all over their village with little reason.

The religious part is even worse. The movie is firmly based on the Catholic interpretation of the Christian faith, including some of its more dubious folklore. When it comes to religion, the characters of the movie are at their most gullible, showing no sign of intellect at all. The bigger problem is that it's completely impossible to tell if the religious aspect of the movie should be taken seriously or as a mockery of the common beliefs. The second part of the movie is the worst offender here. It presents a surprising and somewhat imaginative plot twist based on the Catholic mythology. Unfortunately, the drawn-out scene drones on, ultimately becoming much too serious and overly long to keep the viewer's interest.

The movie is not completely worthless, but its high points are much too few for a 100-minute movie. I shudder to think of the longer TV version. Many of those minutes are used to strech the movie by dull bickering and shouting, making the viewer again and again wish that the story would move on. On all accounts, O Auto da Compadecida is a severely underwhelming movie, even despite its flashy presentation and supposedly snappy script. As a short film of 30 minutes with a lot more editing, it might have worked, but not as a full-length film.
3 out of 67 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
I'm crying.
nikitar28 June 2010
It's just sad. For hundredth time I see promising start in a Brazilian movie, but it stumbles somewhere towards the end.

Here we have a case of screwball comedy. In the beginning, it presents some appealing characters and plenty of funny jokes and fooling around. You may not like the genre, but you gotta admit it's a good example of it. And, unlike many new Hollywood productions, this movie doesn't employ below-the-belt jokes and toilet humor at all. Everything is built on dialogs and acting.

Then, after about an hour, we're introduced to the Lord, Virgin Mary and the Devil. Frankly, I still don't know if it's a religious mockery or supposed to be taken seriously, because comedy elements mix with rather grave matters here. But in either case, it's plain dull. We spend half an hour in heaven, without much action, plot development or jokes.

What fills this time? Infamous "social context". We're repeatedly shown sorrowful images and told sad stories: boy whose family has been shot by police, misadventures of poor homeless children, etc. But, as you expect in a comedy, they fail to provoke any genuine emotions. Does every Brazilian movie has to thrust this "social context" down your throat? If you start it as a comedy, finish it as a comedy, for God's sake! Not every movie has to be City of God.

Maybe, this 30-minutes fragment does a good job at presenting Christian values? Hell, no. It shows faith as some bureaucratic institute and overloads it with unnecessary catholic mythology. It reminds me of the Sunday school, where kids are taught shell, but not spirit. (Forgive me if you had better religious education). Like Greek myths, only much less imaginative. So, if you look for something to present ideas of Christianity to your Chinese friend, please continue looking.

I still think it's pretty remarkable movie, if you're interested in Brazilian culture or learn Portuguese, but as a comedy it's half-baked.

1 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed