Hotel Atlântico

Hotel Atlântico


Reviewed by: James Benefield

Would you trust an actor? An actor is employed to pretend to be someone else. But does this mean they are fundamentally dishonest? Or does it mean they're in a better position to please you?

It's a question central to Hotel Atlantico, an account of a meandering wander by an actor (Julio Andrada) We enter in on his meander as he's staying in a hotel. There has been a murder in the building and the blood is still on the carpet in his room. Without even a shower, he leaves the next morning and boards a coach out of the country. He meets a woman, but she dies when he is sleeping one night. It's strange, because she is very young and seemingly healthy. Sadly, he had bonded with her, too. But he continues on his story. He moves on to the house of a sexton of a church. He manages to 'please' the maid.

Copy picture

And so on and so forth. The film tumbles and skips about with no discernible pattern. The central character displays all kinds of personality traits during the film, some of which easily contradict each other. He starts the film by ordering whiskey, and then tells a taxi driver he's an alcoholic. Then we barely see him drink for the rest of the film. He begins by barely communicating with anyone, and seems almost autistic. But he then manages to strike up an easy bond with the woman on the coach. He even snogs her.

Surprisingly, it's fairly accessible. Andrada is very watchable, and a lot of the entertainment value is because of him. He's particularly good when seamlessly switching identities; the guy has range. The movie is almost like a Kafka novel; there seems no earthly rhyme and reason, but there are some resonating themes and a sense of the surreal. However, few of the questions it raises are returned to, let alone answered.

Due to this, it's not a film that will linger in the memory. There's not very much to cling on to. So, for all its good intentions, the film is as transitory experience as staying in a stopover hotel.

Reviewed on: 21 Jun 2010
Share this with others on...
Brazenly weird road movie about a TV soap actor's odyssey.
Amazon link

Director: Suzana Amaral

Writer: Suzana Amaral, João Gilberto Noll

Starring: Júlio Andrade, Gero Camilo, Emerson Danesi, Renato Dobal, André Frateschi, Luis Guilherme, Helena Ignez, Lorena Lobato, Marcia Martins, João Miguel, Jiddú Pinheiro, Mariana Ximenes

Year: 2009

Runtime: 107 minutes

Country: Brazil


EIFF 2010

Search database: