By: John Allen
Its always interesting watching foreign films because the culture and ways of telling stories is vastly different to North American styles. To understand their movies, one needs to understand the culture what is happening politically and socially in the country from which it originated. Which brings us to The Cannibal Club, a Brazilian film by Writer/Director Guto Parente. The story revolves around a wealthy couple Otavio (Tavinho Teixira) and Gilda (Ana Luizs Rios) who have a taste for human flesh and a decedent, hedonistic life. Otavio belongs to an exclusive club of elite business men who share his taste in exotic meat, and wish to cleanse Brazil of the lower classes in order that they may rise. Twist and turns abound especially when Gilda discovers a secret about Otavio’s Boss Borges (Pedro Domingues)
The Cannibal Club is a well thought, well written, commentary on the extreme violence and crime rate that plagues Brazil and the struggles between the great divide of wealth and poverty . The wealthy are extreme snobs while the working class and poverty stricken are humble and grateful for a chance to work, and please their bosses. For some viewers, The Cannibal Club may be a slow burn, there are a few gruesome scenes, but not enough for a horror aficionados to get hungry over. Still it kept me intrigued and hungry for more as it continued to unfold its many layers. Where the true success lies is in its deeper story telling and social-economic critique. You genuinely despise these people for their indulgences in the profane simply because they have wealth. They are true sociopaths who do not even see their employees as anything but commodities to be devoured sexually, monetarily, and of course exquisitely with red wine (Hannibal Lecter would be proud).
The acting is solid particularly from Pedro Domingues as Borges easily handling his characters moods with a chilly aloofness, cold exterior, and a despot exuberance when addressing the esteemed members of the club. Ana Luiza Rios as Gilda is a sexual siren, first mating her victims to lure them in for the kill, like a black widow spider.
Guto Parente knows how to tell a story and how long it should be. He refrains from over extending the tale keeping it tight and unencumbered
The Cannibal Club is a meaty piece of cinematic art that wet my appetite for a second helping.
3.5 Picanh’s ( Brazilian Beef ) out of 5
The film hits theaters March 1st and will be available On Demand March 5th.