Time Out São Paulo

O Bem Amado: review

O Bem Amado: review

Director Guel Arraes

Cast Marco Nanini, Edmilson Barros, Andrea Beltrão, Caio Blat

Prepare your ears for a battering, because Odorico (Marco Nanini), the self-important local politician at the centre of this Brazilian political comedy drama, does not stop shouting. Nor does anybody else in this frenetic, at times hysterical movie – based on the 1960s soap opera and novel of the same name by Dias Gomes.

It’s a comedy about the corrupt mayor of the hick, allegorical North East Brazilian town of Sucupira, who cheats his way into office by announcing the construction of a magnificent new cemetery. But nobody dies. So Odorico tries to find a ‘jeitinho brasileiro’ (the infamous ‘Brazilian little way’) around the problem. How? By finding a body to bury. And so the fun begins.

It’s difficult to gauge whether director Guel Arraes - who also made O Auto da Compadecida – intends his film as a parody of Brazilian politics or is just playing it for laughs. But the cast of Brazilian stars and the high gag-count make it worth it – with the added bonus that it’s an entertainingly scathing portrait of small-town Brazil and the pompous politicians who all too often run it.

By João Carlos Gouvêa
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