Bacurau Movie Review
As daring and unpredictable as a movie can be, Bacurau isn’t for everyone, but if you’re in the mood for a violent, messed up, and utterly badass thriller that doesn’t want you to know it’s any of those things, this is the movie for you.
I went into Bacurau blind, knowing only that it was a film that had garnered rave reviews. A Brazilian production set in a remote village in Brazil, the movie presents itself as a drama, though there are hints at darker things to come. We’re introduced to the story through the eyes of Teresa (Bárbara Colen), who travels to the village following the death of her grandma, a matriarch to many of the townspeople. From there we’re informed the village has been cut off from its water supply, but that most everyone is bonding together to share food and supplies until relief can arrive.
This quiet, unassuming storytelling goes on for the first hour, bringing to life various characters and their interactions and relationships. It’s all quite intriguing, especially because you don’t know where co-writers and directors Juliano Dornelles and Kleber Mendonça Filho are taking the damn thing.
And then shit hits the fan.
In a scene that literally made me say out loud, to no one, “What the fuck?” it suddenly became apparent that Bacurau was not at all the movie it was pretending to be. Dornelles and Filho had something much darker, much more sinister up their sleeves, and audience members such as me who were willing to be patient would be rewarded accordingly.
I won’t go into detail, and I hope you don’t seek out those details before firing up this gem, but Bacurau is simply one of the most badass and satisfying movies of 2020. It’s fun, well-staged, and utterly unpredictable, splashed with blood and sprinkled with bullets.
And yes, there’s more at play here than just unassuming violence; the movie clearly has a message to tell, with themes about society and class and wealth underpinning it all. But I’ll leave that analysis to smarter critics who give a damn. For me, and likely for you, just be happy that Bacurau is a movie worth experiencing. As soon as possible.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.