A drama based on an ancient Chinese proverb that breaks life down into four emotional cornerstones: happiness, pleasure, sorrow and love. A businessman bets his life on a horse race; a gangster sees the future; a pop star falls prey to a crime boss; a doctor must save the love of his life.
Sarah Michelle Gellar,
In a dark and decadent area of São Paulo, the exiled Americans Sinatra and his son Paul own a brothel. Paul is a compulsive gambler addicted in cocaine and his father is married with the former prostitute Angie, and they have a little son. When a client is killed by his wife in their establishment, they find a suitcase with drugs. In the night that they have scheduled a negotiation with African buyers, their African liaison dies while having sex with the travesty Nazda. Sinatra proposes to the Nigerian dishwasher of the brothel, Wemba, to travel to the harbor of Santos, close the business with the drug dealers and in return he would receive a large amount. Wemba accepts but while returning to his car in the harbor, he is attacked by two smalltime thieves and passes out. His lack of contact with Sinatra and Paul leads to a sequence of misunderstandings with a tragic end.Written by
Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Journey to the End of the Night has a wonderful cast and an interesting premise. From that starting point, however, its all downhill. The film collapses into such a morass of cliché, confusion, and violence that it leaves you wondering why you bothered to take the journey with it.
Set in Sao Paulo, the film is (I guess) striving for a tone of gritty realism. Mos Def is, quite honestly, superb in his portrayal of a Nigerian immigrant drawn abruptly into a world of corruption. He is the only real winner in this sorry affair - the sky is the limit for this wonderfully talented actor. Catalina Sandino Moreno and Alice Braga also do not discredit themselves, but they are playing for a losing team.
The film dissolves in a mish-mash of stock characterizations and improbable plot turns. "Good" bad girls, corrupt cops, drug deals gone bad - we've seen this all before, but here there is not enough internal logic to make us believe in any of it. Ultimately, in the film's violent, climactic scene, the cliché-level becomes so high that the sounds of laughter you hear are from people laughing at the film, not with it. Sorry to say, but Journey to the End of the Night is not a journey worth taking.
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