Patricia Franca

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Orfeu Review


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Like 1959's Black Orpheus (Orfeu Negro), 1999's Orfeu tells us of another musician named Orfeu and his beloved Euridice in Rio de Janiero on the eve of Carnival. It's a familiar remake -- only the mysterious Death/Hades has been replaced by a jealous local thug, who ends up capturing our hero's girlfriend. Oddly, Rio still looks the same 40 years later, and still they haven't managed to make this retelling of the Greek myth any more worth watching.

Orfeu Review


Weak

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.

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Orfeu Movie Review

Orfeu Movie Review

A modern retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, the Brazilian import "Orfeu"...

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