Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|THE MAN OF THE YEAR |
O Homem do Ano
Actors: Cláudia Abreu, André Barros, Murilo Benício, Marcelo Biju, Jorge Dória
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Special Interests
Maiquel (Murilo Benicio) has lost a bet and dyed his hair blond. This little event triggers a head-on collision with destiny in which Maiquel goes from nobody to hero to outlawall in 24 hours. Based on the award-winning no... more »
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Ricky Levine | New York, NY USA | 07/19/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film never made it into american theaters (besides a few festivals where it won awards) but it is an outstandingly brash film, and gorgeous to look at. My only criticism might be the ending being a little disappointing, but the lead up is well worth it."
A Quietly Disturbing Character Study Made with Style
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 05/06/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Murilo Benecio is a young Brazilian actor who just keeps turning out fine, solid and very different character roles. As the leading character is this well made film by director Jose Henrique Fonseca from a script written by his father Rubem Fonseca in turn based on the novel 'O Matador' by Patricia Melo, Benecio molds a memorable portrait of a man of low self esteem who is strangely and inadvertently raised to the level of hero in the most bizarre of circumstances.
The setting is Rio de Janiero and Maiquel is a loner looking for an identity. On a bet he decides to have his dark hair bleached by the beautiful beautician Cledir (Claudia Abreu) and finds that as he steps back into his world he is the object of notice. After a cruel teasing by thug Suel (Wagner Moura) he buys a gun and almost unwittingly kills Suel who dies in the arms of his girlfriend Erica (Natalia Lage). Despite Maiquel's fears of his arrest he finds that the neighborhood rewards him for ridding them of a criminal and Maiquel becomes a hero. Not only is he rewarded with gifts (including a pet pig he names Bill after watching Bill Clinton's visit to Brazil on TV!), he is also given free dental work by Dr. Carvalho (Jorge Doria) in exchange for agreeing to kill an enemy of the dentist. More and more people ask Maiquel to whack bad people making Maiguel's new blond persona a hit man and man of the year. How he ultimately begins to spiral downward when his life is complicated by a marriage and family and holding a regular job forces him to initiate his own choices of violence and return to his original hair color to alter his destiny!
If the story sounds odd, it is really a depiction of life in the city of Rio where the police are impotent to control the violence that prevails. Maiquel becomes the Robin Hood/Batman type who brings a degree of safety to his community. Wisely Benecio holds our attention and our compassion as he performs his many murders, creating a man in whom we can believe and applaud despite the grim things he does.
The cast is uniformly fine and the cinematography by Breno Silveira and the musical score by Dado Villa-Lobos (an important guitar player, relation to composer Heitor Villa-Lobos unknown!) is classy. This is yet another fine film from Brazil, in Portuguese, and one that deserves wide attention - especially for Murilo Benecio's superb performance. Recommended. Grady Harp, May 06
Neighborhood Hero from the Most Unlikely of Circumstances
Erika Borsos | Gulf Coast of FL, USA | 08/03/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Murilo Benicio has again demonstrated an amazing range of acting ability in this most outstanding film. He plays a young man named Miqual Jorge who has no apparent direction in life, no visible means of support, and who lives in a lower class neighborhood in Rio De Janeiro. However, with one unusual change in his appearance, having dyed his hair blonde, he achieved a change in his personality, one which created a destiny he never imagined for himself ... which sealed his fate. This one event helped him act on a dare and find a new bravado that became his persona. He engaged in behavior which under most circumstances is criminal but which for him won a new life, respect and fame. It also complicated his future in ways he never imagined ... Although the subject of the film is somewhat shocking, the viewer becomes sympathetic to Miqual as one understands how his rather simple life turns into a nightmare from which he can not escape. He becomes powerless to change direction once forces are set into motion. He becomes a victim of the circumstances he created just by one or two decisions.
After his hair color changed, he got into a physical relationship with the attractive hairdresser, Cledir. He took her to his Uncle's corner bar, where a neighborhood thief and bully mocked his dyed hair and made innuendoes about being gay and looking like a gringo. On a spur of the moment decision, Miqual Jorge challenged the young man to settle the score that night. Miqual obtained a gun, waited a long time for his opponent and dared him to fight. His opponent kept walking with his girlfriend and even mocked, what are you going to do, shoot me ... which Miqual did. Word got out, that Miqual eliminated the scumbag who stole from hard working shopkeepers and from innocent pedestrians. When Miqual went to the local dentist, Dr. Caravallo, the dentist suggested Miqual do a contract killing of another low life, one who had raped his daughter. Several wealthy businessmen helped create a business, complete with an office and telephone answering machine, where Miqual's skills were for hire. All this met with the implicit approval of the local police whose hands were often tied by laws which protected the rights of criminals.
Cledir became pregnant as Miqual found a new direction for his life. Initially, he was reluctant to marry but then after meeting her mother, he committed to settling down, having a normal job and raising a family, even going to church. Miqual had inherited the responsiblity to provide a home, food, and clothing to Erica, the 15 year old girlfriend of the man he had killed. She lived in his former bachelor's apartment, after Cledir and he had married. Unfortunately, Miqual succombed to temptation and had an affair with her. She was young and demanding, wanted him to get rid of his wife. Sadly, an unexpected accident caused Cledir to die - they had to cover up her death, to make it look like a disappearance. This worked fine until her body was discovered buried in the backyard of one of Miqual's assistant's who worked with him in his contract murder job. Erica and he lived an upper middle class lifestyle until this event unraveled their cosy existence. She confessed to knowing about neighborhood murders to an Evangelical minister, her guilty conscience was washed free as she found solace in religion, but at the same time, this information threatened to destroy Miqual and his newly created lifestyle. Miqual was forced to act - again digging himself deeper into the quagmire from which there is no return ... This film is a fascinating study of how a few decisions can lock a directionless young man into a life of crime from which there is no escape. Murilo Benicio never ceases to amaze with his wide-range of acting ability. Erika Borsos (pepper flower)"