There is nothing more satisfying for a movie buff than having a movie before him that he has never heard anything about, popping it in the player and being blown away. This has happened many times for me and it is such a moment of pure joy and discovery it always reminds me of why I love movies and storytelling so much. This week I had such an experience with the film Brazilian Western, available this week from Shout Factory.
João de Santo Cristo (Fabrício Boliveira) is a young man who leaves his home in search of a better life. After arriving in Brasilia, he finds work in drug trafficking and falls in love with a senator’s daughter, Maria Lúcia (Isis Valverde). When a rival drug dealer, playboy Jeremias, finds João to be a threat, he does all he can to put João out of commission and win over Maria.
Brazilian Western starts out as a drama about a young man with a troubled past seeking a new life away from the violence of his childhood, but he eventually discovers that violence is hard to avoid when you are inadvertently drawn to it. Boliveira is absolutely stunning in this film and I find it hard to believe anyone in Hollywood could watch this film and not immediately cast him in much bigger productions. His on screen charisma is undeniable. He has a face and a demeanor that instantly draws you into his story. The same must be said for Valverde who is a natural beauty and a formidable actress. The Romeo and Juliet style romance between the two is electric and as the story progresses you can’t help but root for the underdog couple. And when things spiral out of control, the film grabs hold of you and does not let go until the last frame ends. Brazilian Western is that rare film that will capture and surprise you. Highly recommended.
The Blu-ray from Shout Factory is stunning with the beautiful Brazilian landscapes and wonderfully gritty cinematography. Director René Sampaio and both Boliveira and Valverde should start clearing their schedules now because any studio in their right mind should be all over these three talented individuals.
Available now on Blu-ray and DVD.