To know if a successful comic book production is easy, just notice how much you laughed during the presentation. Launched directly via Amazon Prime Video streaming due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Andre Pellenz’s Os Espetaculares (My Mother is One Piece) pokes fun at the stage comedian’s career from the perspective of experienced Ed Lima (Paulo Mathias Jr.), the frustrated Ítalo (Rafael Portugal) and the debutante Sara (Luísa Perissé). So there are humorous snapshots everywhere, but that doesn’t mean laughing all the time.
Truth be told, the cast is great, save for some forced characterizations, but the tone of the jokes is from the start of TV Globo’s Zorra Total. In order not to controversy the story, the teasing has been kept away from Brazilian social and political crises. The most common slogans relate to app dating and the youth’s exaggerated Internet connectivity, plus there is the feeling of “I’ve heard it elsewhere”.
To give a more charismatic, yet uncomfortable image, Os Espetaculares is all narrated by the 12-year-old son (DJ Amorim) of comedian Ed Lima. The child actor is talented, however, the exaggerated narrative is exhausting even for the short 87 minutes of the film. Also, the boy’s words don’t exactly match the on-screen events. He describes living an existential crisis, evokes Freud, Lacan and Jung, but his daily life is that of an ordinary privileged child, even with the separation of his parents and doubts about his father’s profession.
In charge of recording a video with the presentations of Ed Lima and his colleagues to enter a competition, the pre-teen begins to closely follow his father’s craft and develop an admiration for his parent and his artistic career. . With this artifice, André Pellenz invites us to see the path of the actors through a more frank and emotional prism.
To initiate this scenario, the conflict between Ed Lima and his ex-wife is created over the late retirement of his son. In other words, if you don’t pay, jail awaits you. To escape this situation, the comedian must win the prize of a comic book trio contest, something difficult for a selfish man with him. Desperate, Ed attacks his partners and their picturesque stage supports appear, Italo, Sara and the baker (Victor Meyniel).
Legend has it that if Rafael Portugal puts a bucket on his head, people are already laughing. Revealed by the Parafernalha channel and climbed to the top of the comedians by Porta dos Fundos, the actor remains funny, but is eclipsed by the characters of Paulo Mathias Jr. and Luísa Perissé. After all, Ítalo is a frustrated actor who went to comedy to laugh at himself, as he never found a place in dramaturgy. During the cinematic journey, however, he realizes that it’s tastier to make others laugh than to lead them to glare and tears.
Written by Sylvio Gonçalves (Ricos de Amor), Os Espetaculares has pinpointed this false duality between comedy and drama. However, it doesn’t question the limits of the joke, it just shows, for example, a comedian suffering the consequences of a playful provocation centered on the male ego and sex appeal. Although the film introduces the concept of a cheesy joke, through Sara’s character the genre is only in theory since she constantly calls for talking about the male member in her presentations.
Have you ever wondered, out of curiosity, why Porta dos Fundos is more successful than Parafernalha? One possible answer is the relevance of the subjects addressed to the public. This is exactly the flaw in the humor of Os Espetaculares. The protagonist rains in the wet, presents himself with an outdated and unsigned repertoire. It would be easy to accept that the characters are not successful because they are wrong as actors, but that is not the suggestion of the work.
The prospect of the self-knowledge journey of the three comic book artists is commendable, each in their own time and in their own way, however, Os Espetaculares exaggerates the stage scenes, which do not feature a real turning point in the characters’ trajectories. Thus, the film stands out from the main one, which is to show that going on stage, picking up the microphone and starting to speak is a matter of courage, practice and creativity. The cast dominates all of these issues, but the implausible result makes the message lame.
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