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Carlos Hugo Christensen
José de Abreu,
Maria Zilda Bethlem
A murder inside the Louvre, and clues in Da Vinci paintings, lead to the discovery of a religious mystery protected by a secret society for two thousand years, which could shake the foundations of Christianity.
A kind of strange magic infiltrates this movie and dominates us from the very first scene. I say that because when you get the whole picture you know the scenario and the story is something you've seen before time and again yet it feels like something new and you enjoy it. Carlos Hugo Christensen's "Anjos e Demônios" ("Angels and Demons") is heavily clichéd but there's an appeal to it that is best seen than explained. I was only in it to see the young actor Luiz Fernando Ianelli, whose previous film with the director was a memorable little performance in "O Menino e o Vento" and I wanted to see how different he would be. Once again, he delivered a fine performance and makes me wonder why his career didn't took off (he only made five films, not even one TV series which is a rare instance for a Brazilian actor).
Plain and simple, the film tells the story of Virginia (Eva Christian), a pretty teenage girl living her rich uncle (Fregolente), and she's the kind of girl who always enjoy partying hard but not so much in doing some work. Her routine consists on Saturday night outs or just find ways to put her uncle to sleep early so she can invite her friends to party on her apartment, leaving all the mess to be cleaned by the butler in the morning. At one of those parties, comes a crasher who was there to rob the place but he's caught by the girl, who had her eyes on him for some time. His name is Paulo (Ianelli), a poor guy who lives of doing things like that. An instant attraction begins between both and next thing we know they're always going out, fooling around and having a great time at the expense of Victoria's uncle. Jumping a little ahead on the plot, the other half of the film consists in Victoria arranging for the murder of her uncle and take all his money, a plan she conceives along with the family lawyer (Geraldo Del Rey), of whom she seduces very easily. The rest isn't worth telling.
"Anjos e Demônios" portrays a colorful, sexy and dangerous cultural scenario of the 1970's, filled with parties, street racing, sex, drugs and classic rock, something very hard to find in Brazilian films then and now. As for the story, I was so thrilled by all of what's happening that for moments I completely forgot that the ending was something I could see miles away - so, the shock effect on me was really genuine, I liked that. But again, it's nothing you haven't seen before: troubled youths, excesses, some violence on the way, artful plots and characters who get easily fooled. What makes this film succeeding is the presence of the cast, all believable performances, not one stiff acting (very common back in those days) and they're quite enjoyable to see.
Technical aspect that bothered me big time was the sound, at least in the version I've seen, which awfully kept fading at the final 20 minutes. That was upsetting. Gladly, it's a simple story and I could get a sense of what was going on. Quite good movie. 7/10
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