sábado, 7 de novembro de 2009

Review: Bocage (TV)

Staring: Miguel Guilherme, Carla Bolito, Fernando Luís, Henrique Viana, Margarida Marinho and João Saboga.
Rating: 4 stars
Review: Sometimes, along comes a truly wonderful production that doesn’t get the deserved recognition, either because of language or country of origin.
I’ve always been a fan of RTP’s historical mini-series, and Bocage is without a doubt one of the best, up to par with Ferreirinha, which is, in my humble opinion, the crown jewel of RTP’s productions.
But enough. This is Bocage, so let’s talk about Bocage. To those who don’t know, Manuel Maria Barbosa du Bocage was a notorious portuguese poet of the late XVIII century, who’s famous for his rather anatomical anecdotes.
Migue Guilherme plays the charming scoundrel that he was down to a tee, including providing an extrodinary likeness to the famed poet.
Amongst the flawless performances, there are some who deserve special mention.
The late Henrique Viana gives a stelar performance as the practical villan Pina Manique, but it’s Bruno Bravo that gives the most powerful one. He starts as the “recruit”, Bocage’s good friend that spirals down a path of madness, so that when we last see him, he’s became a ruthless captain covered in the blood of Napoleon’s partisans, that slit the throat of his former friend’s most constant lover, the illiterate prostitute Nise, played wonderfully by Carla Bolito.
I could go on and on about the acting but I won’t.
The story’s gritty, crude, full of dark, twisted humour. And it’s perfect, specially Marilia’s innocent platonic love for the womanising Bocage, that brings a freshness to the story or the truly heart-breaking scene where his sister visits a dying Bocage in prison.
Even so, that were some things that I didn’t like, mainly the humorous aproach to Queen Mary I’s insanity played here by the great Maria Emília Correia. That disturbed me, because the writers could have used the situation a little better, since it was a truly tragic story, in which her screams are described as echoing through the palace, coming from the deepest pits of Hell. The music score wasn't that great either. A lot of dramatic scenes looked cherry beacuse of it.
But still, these peeves were rare, even though the whigs look like they were borrowed from Amadeus, the costumes were truly wonderful, especially for a production that doesn't have nearly the budget of a BBC drama, and the Countess Oyenhausen (herself a great poetess) wears some of the most visually stunning costumes. Again, the problem were the whigs.

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