The Man from the Future on UK DVD

Monday, 09 November 2015 00:00 Written by 

Man from the Future - out now on UK DVDReleased in its native Brazil as “O Homem do Futuro”, the plot of this neat little tale follows Zero (Wagner Moura), a madcap scientist, whose life changed 20 years ago (in 1991) when he was publicly humiliated by being covered in honey and feathers and hoisted above the 'prom night' audience at his college. He believes the stunt was masterminded by Helena (Alinne Moraes), a then-first-year physics student, who he considered up until that point to be the love of his life. In the present day 2011, he is a top boffin, currently using a very expensive particle converter to try and create a revolutionary free energy source.

In order to prove his theories, and the equipment, he decides to put himself at the centre of the experiment event to show it is safe. However, things don’t go according to plan, and inexplicably he finds himself travelling back in time to the worst day of his life. The dilemma for him is whether he should change the course of history, and indeed his destiny, in order to get a happier life and end up with Helena. However, the result is not what he had hoped for, and in some ways he has made things worse. Against all odds, this ends up as a feel-good foreign language slice of SF which is a credit to Brazilian cinema.

Although his name is João Henrique Nogueira, our lead character gathered up the nickname ‘Zero’ on that critical night, a reference to what he was called after he allowed himself to be made an object of ridicule by the entire school (with a sign saying such around his neck). The experience has made him bitter about that moment in which his entire life changed, and his driven and dogged determination sets him at odds with, and the potential to be fired by, his former college roommate and current sponsor, Sandra (Maria Luiza Mendonça).

Aided by his best friend from school days, and also now a fellow scientist, Otávio (Fernando Ceylão), Zero must decide in his trip back in time whether he should find a way to stop Helena leaving him for the spoiled brat Ricardo (Gabriel Braga Nunes), who has the contacts to help her become a top model.

Returning to a revised present day, and with everyone in the now-alternative timeline being much worse off, he decides he has no choice but to go back to 1991 once more, and undo everything that changed.

In the universe of quantum paradoxes, this is a movie which asks pertinent questions about whether, if you had the power, you should actually leave things as they are. Just as our hero in Doctor Who is allowed to meet himself in anniversary specials, so is the case in this plot. Those who love the “Back to the Future” trilogy will like the resonance the story has with that format, playing with the cause-and-effect equation of how small changes in detail can have major ramifications further on down the line.

The soundtrack has some unexpected English language tracks, including “Creep” by Radiohead, “By My Side” by INXS, “Reflections of My Life” by Marmalade, and “It’s the End of the World as We Know it (and I Feel Fine)” by REM. They weave seamlessly with the events they provide the background to, and add to the overall flavour of the film. The subtitles even highlight the lyrics, helping define how perfect the tracks are for what they are illustrating – and so much the better for having 5.1 and Stereo Surround options on the Portuguese soundtrack.

Written, produced and directed by Cláudio Torres, the film was shot in Paulínia and Campinas in the state of São Paulo, and in Rio de Janeiro. Torres currently has a TV series in production called Magnifica 70 – where a married man bored with his life, and working in the São Paulo government censorship department, falls in love with Dora Dumar, an actress who stars in the films he has to censor.

This is a very clever and thought-provoking movie, and those who fear subtitles should use this movie as a reason to overcome their trepidation. Actor Wagner Moura and Actress Alinne Moraes were nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress respectively at the Cinema Brazil Grand Prize in 2012 for this movie, and rightly so. At those same awards, the film won the gongs for Best Visual Effects and Best Sound, and was nominated for a further seven awards, including Best Picture and Best Director.

“The Man from the Future” is out now from Simply Media. It has a running time of 106 mins approx, a ‘PG’ certificate, and a RRP of £14.99, or why not get it for less at www.culttvstore.com

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 10 November 2015 09:28

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