Original title Meia Noite
Directed by Walter Salles Daniela Thomas
Written by Emanuel Carneiro Walter Salles Daniela Thomas
Produced by Haut et Court (fr)
Almost a short, but a very well made short: in little more than one hour the director of Central do Brasil and the very good screenwriter Daniela Thomas tell us the story of three characters during the last hours before the long waited 2000 new year’s day in Rio de Janeiro. An escaping criminal, another criminal trying to kill him to conquer his personal freedom, a common girl who teaches deaf – mute alphabet and who ‘s abandoned by her lover. Their stories are destined to cross theirselves in a strange atmosphere with very little of the festivity and much more of the typical features of the end of the world exposed in another little big movie, Last night. Here, though, the environment is much more real: almost everything, except for a few scenes shot indoor, goes on in the streets of Rio, between residential areas and favelas oppressed by garbage and poverty.This reading of the coming future has nothing to do with science fiction but on the contrary it has the taste of big realism, right as in Last night. A reading that sometimes, especially when it works on the girl’s story, seems almos french, light but at the same time so deep, a little detached but never trite. And, maybe, it’s not a coincidence – the production is french. Realism, I told, not pessimism. Salles has got an incredible ability to tell stories that we could define, maybe in a first time, pessimistic but that are actually anything more than reality, even when they speak about future events. And then it’s difficult to say if Midnight last scenes are really pessimistic or if they hide, maybe in the very last frame, a little bit of hope. We have to think about it and the possible answers can be very different. I think this is the sign of a good movie, when it doesn’t offer only one answer but it leaves us free to think and to find the answers by ourselves. Too simple definition? Maybe, but the fact remains: Midnight is a very interesting movie, not only because of the good screenplay, or of the very good acting, or of the splendid cinematography by Walter Carvalho, but also because it moves the minds creating questions and thoughts that live in the head for some days pleasantly tormenting the spectator.