I have been on the constant look out for films from the international circuit which have been critically acclaimed or films which I may have missed out on watching. This is solely to expand my horizon aa a cinephile and to explore the kind of films being made at the world stage. And so while doing my research, I came across a film which had premiered at the Cannes Film Festival almost three years back. It was the Brazilian film Bacurau. Now when we talk about films from Brazil, the one stand out film is City Of God. That film for me would rank in my top 10 films of all times. And this was the sole reason for me being drawn to Bacurau. So then does Bacurau manage to impress, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Bacurau follows the story of strange occurrences taking place in a village following the death of an old lady. The story is a typical Weird Western film which essentially means combining genres like Horror or Sci-Fi in a Western film. There is a level of tension which is built up and constantly runs through the story. The screenplay is a bit of a slow burn which allows the audience to soak into the atmosphere of the place. The strange occurrences only add to the mystery where you can sense that something is amiss. This while you are acquainted with an interesting bunch of characters. The twists and turns are meticulously introduced in the screenplay. Some people being killed almost escalates the tension for the viewer. What the writers have been able to do well is buildup a layered story around a small village.
The urgency creeps up in the second hour of the film exploring the sadist nature of humans. Almost every scene is so well written that you anticipate a gory sequence in every scene. So you will find yourself closing your eyes in many scenes in anticipation of something worse. Mind you there are several gory scenes towards the backend including a terrific final act which raises the bar in building a level of tension. The screenplay is powerful and extremely well written.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are subtle but they do make an impact. The BGM is terrific and it adds to the ambience of the drama. The cinematography and action set pieces deserve a huge round of applause for contributing to the tension in the plot. Directors Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonca Filho have done an astounding job in building a world full of mystery and intrigue. The Western genre had a nice little twist to it and the directors have done a splendid job here.
The performances are excellent. Silvero Pereira as Lunga is fiery and intimidating. Thomas Aquino as Pacote is well measured and has a sense of calmness to him. Barbara Colen as Teresa has a great screen presence. All other actors have done an excellent job.
Bacurau is a tense crime drama which is absolutely brilliant to witness. Available on Mubi and Highly Recommended