Having loved The Ornithologist this seems only half committed to its fantastical elements - not that it's not full fantasia, replete with experiments in colour and scope, and one blood-moon sequence that could bottle pixies. Rather the melodrama is, at worse, from more staid narratives of ageing impresario's resigning the throne.
A look at what lengths someone may go to in order to erase their past, and also what can cause a turnaround leading to that same past being reclaimed, To Die Like A Man benefits from decent performances and an interesting complexity throughout but suffers from a lack of focus that is reflected in the overlong runtime.
A primeira cena de Morrer Como Um Homem, a cena que norteia a trajetória do filme, na verdade está no fim: o grand finale do velório. É nesta apoteose que tudo se enfeixa, daí as elipses bruscas, a síntese impossível entre um plano sequencial e planos hieráticos, “acabados”, desligados de contextos dramáticos. A Morte e sua potência demiúrgica rasura e recorta o filme inteiro.
3.5 I am really tired of transsexuals being portrayed as tragic, even if it is a good film. It makes the whole film so predictable, and it kinda pisses me off and perpetuates a fucked-up paradigm. Also I watched this film because I liked this screenshot and thought that the synopsis was about this character, but she only has a minor role. This film is actually about white people.
Spoilers à parte - até porque o título diz tudo - o funeral é a cena mais bem conseguida de todo o filme e talvez das mais tenebrosamente bonitas no cinema português. A Irene e a Maria Bakker são dignas de uma caturreira pela tarde a dentro com um bolo de chocolate a acompanhar.
Thanks, MUBI. I'm glad to have gotten to view this. Early on when Jenny is singing "Total Eclipse of the Heart," the line "Once upon a time I was falling in love/But now I'm only falling apart" perfectly encapsulates Tonia's journey in the film. Sadly, the characters and unnecessarily lengthy scenes portrayed excessive bitterness and cruelty, and so I distracted myself by worrying about the fate of the animals.
I found this neither overlong nor overly lush. The extended scenes and vibrant colors evoked literary magical realism as it would appear on-screen. It is indeed long, but the length evokes Tonia's journey in a realistic way: some parts of her experience are lengthy and ripe with meaning, while some parts pass by almost too quickly to process.
Des êtres hybrides, mi-homme mi-femme, se sont perdus dans la forêt. Rodrigues filme la fuite de Tonia qui part à la recherche de son identité sexuelle. La vie décidera pour elle. Un film magnifique, poignant, où les mouvements de caméra, vertigineux, suivent avec délicatesse ces personnages vagabonds et désenchantés. Sublime !
Un très beau film, frontal mais sans vaine provocation. Rodrigues aime ses personnages, les filme bien, nous fait nous intéresser à leurs problèmes sans en rajouter. A noter une parenthèse onirique au milieu du film qui m'a un peu ennuyé ; le ton réaliste du début et de la fin m'ont plus parlé.