Orfeu

"Grim"

Orfeu Review


A modern retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, the Brazilian import "Orfeu" skits its source material to such a degree that the film becomes little more than a templated ghetto love tragedy set in an exotic locale.

The myth tells the story of a musician who played the lyre so beautifully that no one and nothing could resist his song. When his true love dies from a snakebite, Orpheus is overcome with grief and descends into the Underworld to win her back from the dead with his music. Soothed by Orpheus's melodies, Hades agrees to let Eurydice return to the land of the living, but only if Orpheus leads her to the surface without looking back until they both reach sunlight. Desperate to make sure she's behind him, he blows it, turning around when he emerges out of the ground, condemning Eurydice back to her death.

The Orfeu of the film (Tony Garrido) is Rio de Janeiro's most celebrated samba composer, who lives in a hillside shantytown so as not to forget his roots. He's a handsome, brazen Romeo as famous for his seduction of dozens of girls as he is for being the star performer of the city's famous Carnaval celebration.

Struck with love when a neighbor's beautiful country cousin comes to stay, Orfeu begins a quest to win her dubious heart. But the way Garrido portrays Orfeu's overblown ego turns what should be a poetic romance into a suggestive game of cat and mouse. When Euridice (Patricia Franca) eventually does give in to desire, their love is so underplayed that the audience is left out of the emotion all together.

This is the movie's biggest misstep, but there are several others, including a "West Side Story"-like rivalry that forms between upright Orfeu and Lucinho (Murilo Benicio), his childhood best friend who is now a coke-head gangbanger that sees himself as kingpin of the slums. Lucinho drop-kicks the plot toward the inevitable by trying to use Euridice to silence Orfeu.

The movie's best scenes are long, colorful and noisy episodes that take place at Carnaval -- an idea lifted from a deeply metaphorical 1958 film called "Black Orpheus." This picture is a loose remake of that one, but it fails to capture even a fraction of the original's magic and mystique.



Orfeu

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 21st April 1999

Distributed by: New Yorker Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 36%
Fresh: 5 Rotten: 9

IMDB: 6.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Orfeu, as Euridice, as Lucinho, as Conceição, as Inácio, as Mira, as Carmen, as Pacheco, Mauricio Gonçalves as Pecé, Lúcio Andrey as Piaba, Mary Sheila as Be Happy, Eliezer Motta as Stallone, Sérgio Loroza as Coice, Silvio Guindane as Maicol, Castrinho as Oswaldo, Alexandre Hendersen as Ronnie, Gustavo Gasparani as Mano, Paula Assunção as Deise

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

Captain America: Civil War Movie Review

After the formulaic thrills of The Winter Soldier and Age of Ultron, Marvel's Avengers were...

Son of Saul Movie Review

Son of Saul Movie Review

From Hungary, this year's Oscar-winning foreign film is a remarkably fresh take on the Holocaust...

Demolition Movie Review

Demolition Movie Review

With its darkly emotive themes and brittle humour, this well-made drama by Jean-Marc Vallee (Dallas...

Bastille Day Movie Review

Bastille Day Movie Review

An attempt to muscle in on Luc Besson's Taken-style of thriller, this is an odd...

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Secret Cinema Presents: 28 Days Later Movie Review

Expectations are a problem with this year's Secret Cinema event. After the jaw-dropping, goosebump-inducing surprises...

Jane Got a Gun Movie Review

Jane Got a Gun Movie Review

With its grindingly low-key tension and unusual perspectives, this Western has a chance to revamp...

Criminal Movie Review

Criminal Movie Review

Almost criminally entertaining, this preposterous thriller mixes buckets of humour and emotion into the violent,...

Advertisement
The Jungle Book Movie Review

The Jungle Book Movie Review

Using remarkably photorealistic animation, this remake of the 1967 Disney classic is warm and enjoyable,...

Eye in the Sky Movie Review

Eye in the Sky Movie Review

Almost forensic in its approach, this smart thriller explores a drone strike from a variety...

Midnight Special Movie Review

Midnight Special Movie Review

Gifted director Jeff Nichols takes on another genre in his fourth film with actor Michael...

Boulevard Movie Review

Boulevard Movie Review

This dark, introspective drama hinges on one of Robin Williams' final film performances before his...

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

Aside from success at the box office, there was nothing about 2012's rather uneven fantasy...

Black Mountain Poets Movie Review

Black Mountain Poets Movie Review

It's fairly obvious that the cast and crew began making this film with only the...

Victoria Movie Review

Victoria Movie Review

One of the most breathtaking films of the year, this ambitious story shifts from a...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.