New Movies -
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Old Movies -
Touki Bouki: The Journey of the Hyena
The Strange Affair of Uncle Harry
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Linha de Passe (Walter Salles & Daniela Thomas, 2008)
The biggest problem with Linha de Passe is that Salles and Thomas can’t really manage their narrative. They seems to have taken on more than they can handle, even though the structure here is not particularly complex. As it moves back and forth between the plot strands, Linha de Passe’s frequent cross-cutting doesn’t manage to build viewer interest, even as it maintains a downbeat mood. Instead, the gear-shifting lowers the energy level, to such an extent that it drains any sense of spontaneity from the proceedings and squanders the charisma of the likeable cast. Whatever sociological impact or real-world excitement the film’s neo-realist approach might have stirred up is diluted by the clumsy plotting and awkward pacing. The film’s style begs comparisons to early Rosellini, but they shame this effort. These characters move inexorably toward false climaxes that simultaneously occur to provide the film a false conclusion. Linha de Passe’s ending, which conflates their stories with a reductive finality, reduces the film’s neorealist impulses, which would suggest that they should continue to develop as fully formed people. Instead, they are revealed to be cogs in a canny script’s machinations, each a simple archetype with stultifying, all-consuming daddy issues. In sum, Linha de Passe is a noble effort, sure to find favor with audiences predisposed to its message, but unenlightening for those who have seen such material handled with more skill.