Greta: Review. By Brandon Topp.
“Greta” is a Brazilian film, which made its debut at the Berlin Film Festival last February. Its first-time director Armando Praca took the ball and ran with a story about an elderly gay man who harbours a fugitive, and relentless sadness throughout a riveting journey.
There are a number of striking reasons for folks to check out this film, and among them are a mesmerising visual palette, powerful and brutal dialogue, as well as its unwavering lens.
Let’s Begin With How it Looks
I’m not a camera person, so I can’t speak to what technically made this such a vibrant and memorable watch for me. There was something nostalgic about it, perhaps they shot on film, or just did something to make it seem that way. Regardless, I didn’t know what time I was in, and that complemented the dreamy pace and progression of the narrative.
Another aspect of that made the visuals of the film so memorable, was the interesting looking cast, and brilliant set design. Our lead Pedro, played wonderfully by Marco Nanini, is an overweight, sweaty, defiant, and passionate man who bares all emotionally and physically. The fugitive he captures looks like a young, broken, Brazilian De Niro. Adding onto the cast, the lights and landscapes of this world of hospitals, night clubs, and sweaty-male sex scenes all coalesce in a unique, strange, and artful story for the eyes.
These Characters Are Harsh & Real
The film begins with Pedro taking his transgender friend to the hospital, where she receives news that she’s terminally ill. Though constantly being sidetracked with his own sexual adventures, and the harbouring the fugitive thing, Pedro tries to be there for her in his own way. Some of her reactions are brutally honest, and inform a tone carried by all the characters throughout the film. That tone read to me something like, we are going to stare the most glum aspects of life dead in the eye without wavering.
This Movie Stays Real In The Rarest Way
There are some long, tough sex scenes throughout Greta. For most mainstream tv watchers I know, they might be tough to watch. For one thing, gay sex is not depicted nearly as much in cinema as straight sex, and so it’s a brave move for the filmmaker to go for it. Also, gay or straight, these sex scenes are long and intense. And in my mind, that absolutely serves as a strength of the film.
These scenes are true cinematic magic, with visceral texture and passion and exhaustion and sadness. They stay true to the film’s well-accomplished allegiance to staring at this beautiful man’s sad and horny chapter of his later days.
Greta is a wonderful film and a true original worth checking out if you get the chance.
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