Not as good as the original but very close...
M. Lee | Santa Monica, CA | 01/20/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This was a pretty well done film. Although it is not as good as the original (1959's "Orfeu Negro") it comes pretty close. I would recommend renting both this and the original to compare the two first. This version definitely appeals to a younger crowd than the older version, but it was still produced in a very tasteful, well crafted way. Also, the soundtrack to this film was quite impressive, so if you enjoy the movie be sure to check the music out as well. Unlike a lot of movie soundtracks which don't include tracks from the movie, the soundtrack to this film does a pretty good job of including the music from all the memorable scenes. Overall, this movie is definitely worth checking out."
Dazzling Cinematic Production with Minimal Story
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 04/06/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Director Carlos Diegues knows how to capture atmosphere with his camera and effects and when that atmosphere is the splendid garish gaudiness of Carnival in Rio de Janeiro there is plenty to entertain the eye. 'Orfeu' as a story, supposedly a re-interpretation of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth updated to current times and set in the slums (favelas) of Rio, is just not there.
The title character Orfeu (handsome and talented singer Toni Garrido) does sing and play his guitar, his playing ends the night and serenades the rising of the sun, but here he a quasi-Rap star, beloved by his townsfolk Eur?dice, and by all the women who come into his view. Eur?dice (Patr?cia Fran?a) enters his life, as she comes to Rio after the death of her parents in the provinces, and the meeting results in instant love. There is violence from the police invasions of the slums, drug lords such as Lucinho (a disastrously misused Murilo Ben?cio who happens to be one of Brazil's biggest stars), female envy from Orfeu's many ex-lovers (Isabel Fillardis, Maria Cei?a), and parental concern from Orfeu's parents Concei??o (Zez? Motta) and In?cio (Milton Gon?alves). But the story, or at least a semblance of one, gets buried in all the extravagant production of police raids and the Carnival parades: it just ends without much point - except that there is a reprise of the musical theme from 'Black Orpheus' to carry you back down memory lane.
Though the quality of acting is generally substandard by comparison to most great films out of Brazil, the style of acting is supposedly the accepted norm for the popular Brazilian novellas on television. And the sensual presence of Toni Garrido does raise the quality of the movie. But if the art of 'Black Orpheus' or Jean Cocteau's 'Orphee' is what you are expecting, this film will not satisfy. If you are looking for a colorful, splashy extravaganza about Rio during Carnival, here is your ticket! Grady Harp, April 06
Interesting, lively, sensual, colorful, sad
Aaron Myers | Toledo, OH | 03/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"You get a decent roller coaster of sights and emotions from the film. The best part of the movie for me is how the main character is forced between his mother's pagan world view, or his father's born again view. He is at the prime of his life and only wanting to have fun, but a death makes him confront his beliefs and start taking life seriously."