The summer is coming and Elias has been dreaming of the sea a lot. In the factory where he works, his responsibilities increase as the holiday season approaches. After one more night working... Read allThe summer is coming and Elias has been dreaming of the sea a lot. In the factory where he works, his responsibilities increase as the holiday season approaches. After one more night working overtime, Elias and the workers decide to go out and have some beer. That is when new enc... Read allThe summer is coming and Elias has been dreaming of the sea a lot. In the factory where he works, his responsibilities increase as the holiday season approaches. After one more night working overtime, Elias and the workers decide to go out and have some beer. That is when new encounters and desires open up to his horizons.
According to the director, whose film title comes from a Walt Whitman poem which elevates the notion of celebrating and finding beauty in bodies, whatever the color, age and shapes, this is exactly what Elias is (the main character played by Kelner Macêdo). Someone who strives for something that holds meaning to him, even though he doesn't necessarily analyzes it. He has a certain satisfaction with his job but doesn't know exactly if he wants to reach something better or higher than that; he only finds some meaning in having pleasure and sex with other guys but a deeper commitment is out of the question; it's like he's discovering life and taking the chances that comes his way without thinking too much or feeling different about it. It's just how it goes. So, here's a daring film that avoids the usual clichéd path of creating a scenario where a LGBTQ character has to find a partner, and romance becomes the big issue. Clear and simple, Elias isn't meant for that, he lives, works, has companies like him and finds a relevance to everything. And the film never gets judgmental in saying that he's a promiscuous guy, unworthy of love and care; he's just a human being, experimenting, living and breathing the world around him, going like the waves he loves to admire back in his hometown and later on during a new year's holiday. That's what most of youth feels like: uncertain, slightly lost, trying to find a way through life, experimenting variations from a similar theme or not.
Here's a masterful picture that left me and the huge audience present in awe, marveled as each frame went by. Mr. Caetano makes a decisive character study with fascinating character development; using of long elaborated sequences, some realistic overlapped dialogues in the Robert Altman style, with balance and precision; with high artistic merits - which includes the sensual, loving sex scenes that create a perfect atmosphere for the characters without excessive appeal. Kudos for his way of telling a story where the majority of characters aren't status-quo gay types from many films out there: he gives voice and presence to queer POC, trans people, the Northeast people, those who go through a lot of prejudice here and elsewhere. He takes risks in going with mostly unknown actors but people of the highest talent, and Kelner Macêdo as the lead was a delight to watch. Convincing, dynamic and poignant, his performance is the highlight of the film with a character that knows exactly where he's standing, slightly shifting his persona or traits depending on whom he encounters or deals but never denying his identity, who he truly is. And it's so subtle you almost don't notice.
Through the years I thought gay-themed films were getting repetitive with its notions of love, relationships and commitment, and I think "Body Electric" was a breath of fresh air with a challenging view of life because in a way that's what all the colors of the rainbow represent. Variations from a same theme, no life is equal from one another but respect in the diversity is the main achieving goal we must make equal. I completely identified myself with Elias, his mode, way of being and his involvements, it reflected much of my experiences; and for those outside of the bubble, a reflection must be thought of with care.
For being brave, honest and open, I truly respect everyone involved with this amazing film. It was really something more than special, it was divine and I can't wait to see it again. 10/10
- Jul 26, 2017