Productions that deal with politics have already been made in various ways and styles, whether defending a historical cause, such as the recent Marighella (2021), widely exposing the socio-political universe, the case of Elite Squad 2 : The Enemy Now is Another (2010), or by taking the cut of a microcosm that expresses the pathology existing in this environment, something that is established on a national scale, see the contagious Bacurau (2019). And one of this week’s premieres, Curral, a Pernambuco film directed by Marcelo Brennand, clearly follows the line of the latter mentioned, but continues through more subtle and natural language, let’s say.
Coincidence or not, the film stars Thomás Aquino, an actor who was also one of the main names in the Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles film, in which he played the sensational package. In Curral Aquino lives Chico Caixa, a worker who drives a water tanker supplying water to his community, the municipality of Gravatá, located in the Agreste de Pernambuco region. Faced with recurring problems due to water scarcity, Chico joins his friend Joel – Rodrigo García, Paulete de Tatuagem (2013) – who is on a political campaign to run for municipal elections. Chico is reluctant, as he never wanted to get involved in these tricks, but he feels compelled to note that the residents depend on him and his friend Joel, who is apparently up for something different, as he is also part of the community. .
Marcelo Brennand, Thomás Aquino and Rodrigo García
From then on, the protagonist duo Chico and Joel undress and transform with each new situation presented. Little by little, Chico lets go of his moral limits and understands that in order to get to where he wants to go, he has to sell part of his soul. Unlike Joël, who quickly seems to accept these new conditions, becoming the worst kind of scoundrel that shelters the various public functions of Brazil. However, Marcelo Brennand’s greatest merit is to offer an almost documentary reality, both in the making of large scenes and in the relationship and dialogues of the characters, from those who are staged to the voters who make small stakes – moreover, most of these people are not professional actors, but residents of Gravatá who took part in the filming at the request of the director himself.
The filmmaker’s achievement and the use of those real numbers are no coincidence, Brennand’s previous work is the award-winning documentary Porta a Porta (2011), a work that followed a real vote challenge in exactly the same way. town of Gravatá, and which ended up serving as inspiration for your fictional Corral. We see social poverty there, with people who only charge the basics to survive and experience a situation that is akin to the misery that “was” seen years ago in countless articles on the back. Brazilian country, with children and cadaverous parents having to turn around. as they can. A reality increasingly present in the Northeast region, which, in addition to being ignored in the national context, is also eroded by the other rats who do not perform a ceremony when the quotas are handed over to the population.
On the production side, Curral is not without appeal either and manages to faithfully reflect the electoral climate that reigned in this type of city during the period. Multicolored pennants and costumes, huge electric trios with their own raw jingles and the entire city population marching and partying in the streets perfectly imprint the electoral conflict in the interiors of the North East. Betting on distant plans, almost without cuts, Marcelo Brennand creates the feeling that we are accompanying a press team on the way to real political marches. Of course, all likelihood would not be possible if Rodrigo García did not manage to make his character identifiable, but, knowing the terrain well, the actor is impeccable in channeling precisely with Joel the accent of young local politicians who try, stumbling , to mix the language of the capital with that spoken in the interior cities.
However, even with other good moves, like the case involving some broadcasters or even some super inspired comics, the big dramatic arc of this story lies precisely in the character of Thomás Aquino, because as we said before, Mr. Chico goes through several transformations, even arrives at what can be called cathartic despair, a climax that ends the film in a brilliant way. A moment of apotheosis which should make people vibrate and leave a little fresh air in the midst of all the fatalism and the tragic prediction of the cycle which unfortunately has to repeat itself for a long time to come. Thus, Curral is a modest and effective film, which fulfills its function well of expressing some of the cruelty present in the small political scenarios prevalent in the forgotten Brazilians in the less sought after regions of the nation.
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