Saturday, February 6, 2016

The Second Mother (2015) Brasil

A close look at generation and professional gap.

Original title:
Que Horas Ela Volta? (Portuguese)


Approximately 6-minute read.

     Have I really watched a South American movie! This is not a doubt over the culture or the language the movie was rendered, but the basic plot was universally appealing. Wherever from you are, this story will look very familiar, you know the master-servant theme with jealous, dominance and other differences between them which intrigued after some unexpected incident. Don't assume it is a revenge flick, but a closer look at the daily life of a servant.

     It is a beautiful drama filled with some occasional dark humours. Frankly, I did not expect it to be this good after I heard it failed to make into the Academy Awards. Yep, this was Brasil's submission for the 2016's Oscars. A story of a live-in housemaid called Val. She opted this life to be apart from her daughter Jessica only to provide a better life for her. But things change, once Jessica decides to come and stay with her mother to apply for a college in Sao Paulo. That brings a complete chaos in the household due to the generation and the professional gap.

     It was a casual opening, like Val was doing her daily routine. This was a very calm part, the story that introduced everything without complicating, especially keeping in mind the second half narration. The movie also digs every detail very closely, like how a maid behaves when her owner is not around, individual relationship with everyone in the house including the other maids and their personal desires.

 She looks at everything. Looks like the president. 

     Believe me, if you ever had one, probably you begin to think them now by remembering any strange incidents from the past like what might be the truth. It is not like accusing them for something, but you know, sometimes we forget we're the same other than a thin line between us called the social status. That's where this film hits you hard and makes you feel regret if you have ever done anything wrong without knowing.

     It was not like any other similar movies I have seen. There was only a small deviation, that's what it makes a special. Also, it was not completely a realistic boring drama if you're wondering about the pace. It was a steady tempo, but had the sufficient entertaining content, often makes us to guess the next scene and besides it had a tiny twist at the end. It was not a strong ending as one could have wanted, but it's the best one after the story took a turn in the final act.

     I don't know the cast or the crew, but the direction was top notch alongside the cast performances. Thankfully, it was not another sentimental drama with a struggling servant or the questionable relationship between a mother and her daughter. Very much within our perception like you know all this, but seeing it for the first time. The balance between everything was the best of it. Almost 80% of the movie were shot in a single location/house and a few outside clips as the story demanded.

     The Oscars might have rejected it, because there's only five slot and they found better five to fill the spot, but that should not be the reason you to skip this heartwarming movie from the country that hosting the next Olympic games. I feel this film is this year's 'Ida', unlike a nun's self-discovery before taking oath to the god, here a maid realises her mistakes and not being a good mother to her daughter which leads her to fix it by not repeating it. A movie that should be watched with the family, inviting housekeeper for the watch might help bond well. So definitely recommended, a highly recommended movie for the weekend gathering.

Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All

Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent

Similar movies:
Hateship Loveship, Rebecca, Albert Nobbs, Driving Miss Daisy, The Help, A Simple Life.

External link(s):

WCA geolocation:
Right now we're in

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