Biopic shows Pimentinha's vitality and glamour, lacks pizazz though
When Elis passed away in 1982, people and talked about an involuntary, casual overdose: she was kinda "first-time sailor," the media never spoke of suicide. The writers of this film, however, reveal that she had been using drugs since long before (the mid sixties to be precise) and did commit suicide, driven by a chronic, deep depression. The movie was based rather on the musical show "Elis, a musical" by his fan, producer, friend and lover Nelson Motta than on Julio Maria's biography entitled "Nothing will be as before." The complexity of Elis's life was directly proportional to her unpredictable, impetuous, and ambitious personality. Only five feet tall, Elis was blessed with a high-pitched, sincere voice, good technique, and a great rhythmic and harmonic sense, somewhat jazzing everything up. The film omits her first two records produced under the tutelage of the father, with a repertoire chosen by the recording label and a standard background playback sound. It also omits her first source of income when she arrived in Rio de Janeiro in 1964, namely the jingles she recorded for advertising agencies under the tutelage of her first boyfriend in Rio, Henrique Meyer, also a gaucho. The film exaggerates, on the other hand, the supposed political side of the singer - who was never a communist. It highlights characters absolutely unimportant for this kind of biopic, such as one grotesque colonel interrogator of the Brazilian army, one French reporter too preoccupied with the evils of third-world dictatorships, and one particular cartoonist, Henfil from O Pasquim, who slashed her by drawing her singing in the presence of Adolf Hitler. The film, which can be seen as a pleasant musical, involuntarily confirms Heitor de Paola's thesis of drugs acting as a means - whether or not unconscious - of a collective suicidal drive.
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