This film has a wonderful reputation and is regarded as a classic, so when I got a copy of the film I was expecting something amazing. And, by the time it was complete, I felt like I just didn't get it--why was this film so highly regarded? Perhaps most of the reason this film left me so cold was that Jean Cocteau's version of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice was so much better--with amazing camera work and acting. On the other hand, "Orfeu Negro" just seemed to have one thing going for it--its intense Samba score. The problem is that after a short time I wanted the music to stop!! The viewing experience was like having ADHD and taking crack--it was just so hyper-kinetic it made me want to scream. As for the story, it sure seemed a lot more superficial--they dance and dance and Orfeu falls for Eurydice so easily--with no real character development or even build up. The citizens of Rio all seem like mindless children--dancing their lives away--a rather patronizing view of the nation! And, because of this, I can see why the Brazilians disliked this one-dimensional view the film gave of them.
As I said, I just don't get this film--it didn't do much to satisfy me and I will strongly suggest to my friends they see Cocteau's version instead--it seems much closer to the original source material and is just so much more interesting.
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In the heady atmosphere of Rio's carnival, two people meet and fall in love. Eurydice, a country girl, has run away from home to avoid a man who arrived at her her looking for her. She is convinced that he was going to kill her. She arrives in Rio to stay with her cousin Serafina. Orfeo works as a tram conductor and is engaged to Mira - as far as Mira is concerned anyways. As Eurydice and Orpheus get to know one another they fall deeply in love. Mira is mad with jealousy and when Eurydice disappears, Orfeo sets out to find her.
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