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.