Updated: Mar 3, 2019
"O Grande Circo Místico" translation in English: "The Great Mystical Circus" is directed by Carlos Diegues is about the generations of circus owners living in Brazil. It covers from the first one who brought the circus, his daughter, her children (male and female twins), his daughter, and finally her daughters. The film is in Brazilian Portuguese but has subtitles in English. We get to see the circus come alive, lose hope, die down, and get a renewal of hope. The film is a drama with elements of comedy (not the clowns) and magical-realism, plus there is a rape scene.
The film show the different types of people that pass through ownership of the circus where some love it, one leaves, and one wished to have no part in it but is trapped due to her fairly brain dead children that she ends up whoring out. And she is the religious one, Margarete (Mariana Ximenes) who wanted to become a nun, but her soul got destroyed because of the rape which brought her the two twin flying dumbheads (played by Louise and Amanda Britto), who were played well by the actresses.
The film is overall well-acted with Celavi (Jesuita Barbosa) being a delightful pleasure as the long term ring master who can't age, has some acting talent from what I seen in one scene, and is there for all the kids. Another stand out was Margarete who gave an emotional, quiet performance and Fred (Rafael Lozano) the one who started this whole thing because he was in love with ex circus performer, Beatriz (Bruna Linzmeyer) actually did well scene we could see the change of his age in his mannerism and that his emotional state detracted after he indirectly got his wife, Beatriz, killed. And there could be a strong indication that she cheated but I could be wrong, but the one guy did do too much screaming and crying. So the idea that his theory may be true also added to his downward emotional state.
The ageing make up was bad on him. It was kind of all over the place like it looked good from Jean-Paul (Vincent Cassel) but not as good for everyone else like his wife Charlotte (Marina Provenzzano) who is also Fred's daughter had good old lady hair when her twins were adults but her face was young, to be fair she was a lot younger than Jean-Paul but she looked older when her kids were younger. But that could be the effects of a fairly loveless marriage. The music had a lot of singing tracks on it which worked well when it needed too and the shots were fairly standard with only a few scene standing out such as the ending, and the scene to so a time lapse of a pregnancy where the camera was inside the circus tent, and it panned around from one season to another as if it was all part of a stage. This was theatrically which is a favourite of mine. The set design was also good with the highlight of the circus being more active and slightly more colourful to the lowlight where it was empty-ish and dirty.
Overall it is a great introduction to Brazilian cinema if you can look pass full nudity and it feels like being in the circus. That being said there was a part that annoyed me and that was in the beginning. It is personal preference but the circus was having a performance and the literal show stopper was Beatriz (because of course) who is an acrobat. The issue was that there were a lot of close ups on her body that I could barely scene what the fuss was about and what I did see, while good, wasn't worth "stopping a show" in my opinion, I wanted more I mean I enjoyed Jean-Paul's main event show but Beatriz needed to be more. But check it out while you can it is worth the time and ends on hope.