Praia do Futuro [Futuro Beach] (2014)

Praia do Futuro
Director: Karim Aïnouz
Writer: Felipe Bragança, Karim Aïnouz
Cast: Wagner Moura, Clemens Schick, Jesuíta Barbosa
Part of: identities Festival
Seen on: 13.6.2015

Donato (Wagner Moura) is a lifeguard in Brazil. After he fails to save a German tourist from drowning, the first person he loses, he meets Konrad (Clemens Schick), the victim’s friend. He offers Konrad a ride and next thing you know, Donato is very much in love with him – and vice versa. When Konrad’s stay in Brazil draws to a close, Donato decides to come with him to Germany, abruptly severing all contact to his home.

Praia do Futuro is divided into three parts and fortunately, the last part makes up for a lot, because the first two parts dragged and constantly left out the things I was most interested in.



Praia do Futuro starts with the circumstances of how Konrad and Donato (made adorable by Wagner Moura) meet, but while they show how Donato comes to see Konrad to express his condolences and offering a ride, it then jumps to the two of them fucking in the car at the side of the road, leaving out what I wanted to know: when and how did their relationship go from professional courtesy and sympathy to sex and love? After Donato moves to Germany: why did he just cease contact with his entire family, in particular his brother – with whom he has a close and loving relationship, as the film spends a lot of time on to show? And finally what happened to and with Konrad and Don, before Ayrton (Jesuíta Barbosa), the by then grown up litte brother, comes to Germany to look for Don? Obviously they are not together anymore, but there is still so much going on between them that you can’t possibly say that they are over.

The film refuses to show us all of those pivotal moments and I missed them sorely. Without them the story felt incomplete and lopsided and the characters remained too opaque for their own good.

praiadofuturo1Fortunately the third act, as I said, made up for a lot of that, providing us with a well-rounded plot in Ayrton coming to Germany to finally confront his brother about his leaving without a word, forcing all three men to look at themselves and their relationships with each other – a process the movie chronicles with a lot of tact and sensitivity. Plus, Jesuíta Barbosa gives one hell of a performance.

It all culminates into a nice ending, only slightly marred by a unnecessary and intrusive voice-over, turning the entire film around on the last stretch. But even that strong third couldn’t make up for the complete lack of women in the whole film or the dragging, boring first two thirds.

praiadofuturo2Summarizing: a mixed bag of beans.

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