The first tale, about the old runaway criminal (as inconsequential as it was), as well as a few moments in the third part (such as the hip hop sequence), were examples of the cohesion, the aesthetic rigour that this could have had. In fact, inconsequential is the adjective that best describes it. What was the point?
The second in the trilogy by director Miguel Gomes, this is the best one (for me). None of the stories feel too weak, although the first one suffers in comparison to the others, and the structure is even more intricate and at times akin to a wonderful puzzle box.
A primeira parte arrasta-se em torno do protagonista que não desperta grande interesse, não obstante o pitoresco cenário; uma segunda parte dedicada a um julgamento que começa divertido mas que rapidamente se desgasta perdido em historietas bizarras apenas para chegar à conclusão pouco subtil que é tudo um ciclo vicioso de crime e pobreza; a terceira e última parte é a mais forte, generosa e a menos pretensiosa.
6 - While not a particularly exceptional film, this is an absolutely massive improvement over the previous installment. The stories are less meandering, more succinct, and mostly free of the puerile, faux-whimsical musings (that, when present, are still executed far better) of its predecessor . It also still suffers from crude craftsmanship and appeals to emotion, but Gomes' presence is thankfully diminished overall.
2.5 At times it was a delight, at times it bored me to tears. But now that I finished watching it, I have two unresolved questions boiling in my head: 1- Was "...the little whole to 10th B" some kind of poorly translated word play or just a typo? 2- For a low income home pet, Dixie had way too many fancy outfits. Was he secretly a drug dealer? After what I've seen from this trilogy, it wouldn't surprise me that much.
It's like one of those random stupid dreams that makes no sense and goes nowhere.. I never enjoy those, so I found it almost impossible to relate to this film, on any level. it's just an endless blabber, for its own sake. It's not witty. It's not even absurd. It's just.. very dull and entirely useless mess, I felt.. Shahrazad wouldn't have survived a single night with this.
It's funny: though I suspect that Volume 2 is the least likely of the three to be programmed (in a festival context for example) on its own, independent of its bookends, in many ways I think it might be the one that works best as a standalone, perhaps, paradoxically, because the three separate pieces are so utterly distinct. The Desolate One is a masterclass on how to work w/ actors and non-actors in the same movie.
Chico Chapas is perfect as Simão 'Sem Tripas'. He is a non-actor. In a intriguing way. Unlike the Kusturica oddities that seem to fit the role and don't even need to act: they seem to have been found as they were presented, weird and wonderful and camera friendly. And unlike other non-actors in small roles in this very same film that are just bad actors (but don't harm the work). Chapas has a genuine uneasiness. *