Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Joćo Pedro Rodrigues, Ana Cristina de Oliveira, Nuno Gil
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Two lonely people careen through life following their individual experiences of loss: Rui, a handsome yound romantic, loses his lover Pedro on the day of their anniversary; Odete, as fetching as she is unstable, is abruptl... more »
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Liam McGrath | Brooklyn, New York United States | 10/19/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
Yet another gay-themed flick from the talented Portuguese director João Pedro Rodrigues. But whereas his previous effort (O FANTASMA, 2000) was dark, sexy (even pornographic, according to some), and creepily atmospheric, TWO DRIFTERS is bland, lacking in thematic coherence, and ultimately disappointing.
Because Rodrigues deals so much with dreams and sexual/psychotic fantasies in his work, one could potentially argue that the looseness of this particular film's narrative reflects its hidden themes and metaphors. But those themes and metaphors were already explored by Rodrigues in O FANTASMA, and better, so why bother with them again?
Without revealing too much of the plot, it should suffice to say that in TWO DRIFTERS, we see/follow the same basic premise as in O FANTASMA: a desperate human being (this time a woman) falls in love with a distant young man (this time he's distant because he's dead, not because he's unresponsive) and begins to exhibit the entire gamut of signs that any normal person out there will have no trouble diagnosing as sexual hysteria/obsession. She sleeps on top of the young man's grave, thinks she's pregnant with his baby, stalks his boyfriend (a guy with enough problems of his own), and, by the end, is almost entirely consumed by the dead young man's personality (she gets a haircut just like his; she starts wearing his old clothes; she fools his mother into letting her sleep in his bed, etc., etc., you get the idea).
Cinematically speaking, there is nothing breath-taking about this movie. Most scenes are long and repetitive; there is almost no nudity (which in the earlier film was a definite plus!); the acting is solid but not outstanding; the ending is annoyingly obscure (does she grow a male reproductive organ or something???); the juxtaposition of scenes is totally chaotic; the characters' behavior is totally unexplainable (one moment, they're getting laid, the other- they're slitting their wrists); the themes and metaphors (if there are any) are totally invisible (at least to this viewer), etc., etc.
If you want to satisfy your curiosity, rent it, but don't buy it: your money would be better spent on O FANTASMA.
'Two drifters, off to see the world' from "Moon River"
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/29/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Director João Pedro Rodrigues and writer Paulo Rebelo ('O Fantasma') collaborate again on this fascinating (if a bit frustrating) Portuguese film ODETE ('Two Drifters'). Together they have their own brand of surrealism and exploration of fantasies that seems to be developing into a smart new look for cinema. The very controversial 'O Fantasma' was dark and brooding, tearing open psyches like feral dogs along the slums of Portugal, whereas 'Two Drifters' is a work in the daylight that moves the concentration from men only to men and women - but the extremes of behavior are still in sharp focus.
The film opens with a very tender moment between handsome student Pedro (João Carreira) and his working boyfriend Rui (Nuno Gil): it is their anniversary but their individual obligations prevent them from spending more than a hasty goodbye, exchanging rings, and off goes Pedro in his car only to be killed in a crash. Devastated, Rui attends to Pedro and then to the horror of sitting by his casket during the wake before the funeral.
Flash into storyline two: the beautiful store skater Odete (Ana Cristina De Oliveira) lives with her lover Alberto (the hunky Carloto Cotta) but when she announces she would like to have a child, Alberto flees and Odete is left in depression over her plight. She just happens to be a neighbor of the recently dead Pedro and in her loneliness she attends Pedro's wake, follows the casket through the funeral and to the grave where she begins to obsess over the dead Pedro. She spends her time draped across his grave, fantasizes that she is pregnant by him and confronts Pedro's mother with the concept. She truly has pseudocyesis (false imagined hysterical pregnancy) and when it is an exposed condition she alters her appearance, cutting her hair and wearing Pedro's clothes and even convincing Pedro's mother to let her sleep in his bed. Ultimately Odete, now inhabiting the persona of Pedro, rejects Albert's return to her graces and instead enters into a bizarre arrangement with Rui.
The actors are all physically beautiful people, superbly cast to fit the models of the personalities of the story, and they manage to make this rather incredible tale credible. The film is rich in symbolism and metaphors, among them the title of the English version 'Two Drifters' - a phrase taken form the favorite fantasy song 'Moon River' that is the theme of Pedro's and Rui's relationship. There are some distorted sexual scenes and innuendoes that may be off-putting to some, but the inclusion works for the story. It is a tough little film but dazzling in its brave little way of taking chances, making us eager to see what João Pedro Rodrigues will do next! Grady Harp, October 06
Robert Byrd | Minneapolis, MN United States | 11/26/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"After seeing O FANTASMA, the first feature of Joao Pedro Rodrigues, I had high expectations for TWO DRIFTERS. Unfortunately, it did not deliver. There were numerous problems, an implausible storyline and frustrating characters chief among them. It meandered far too much and ultimately ended on a ridiculous note. I recall reading favorable reviews of this film and was anxious to buy the DVD. I doubt it will remain in my library - it just wasn't terribly engaging and suggests Joao Pedro Rodrigues took far too formulaic a path in constructing this work both substantively and dramatically. I also feel the development and rather dark transformations of his two leads seemed to follow the same trajectory as his lead character in O FANTASMA. It just didn't resonate with me."