sun 19/05/2019

Diamantino review - loopy satire slaps Brexit | reviews, news & interviews

Diamantino review - loopy satire slaps Brexit

Diamantino review - loopy satire slaps Brexit

How a childlike Portuguese football superstar turns refugee-saviour

Diamantino: the man, the duvet cover

Imagine Cristiano Ronaldo, virtuosity intact, as buffed, blinged, and coiffed as ever, but with the sophistication and sexual maturity of an average seven-year-old, and you have a fair idea of Diamantino’s protagonist.

If that sounds like this barmy Portuguese satire trashes the nation’s sleek football idol, it’s not quite the case. Yes, Diamantino Matamouros (Carloto Cotta, main picture) sees giant fluffy puppies frolicking in pink clouds when he dribbles toward the opposition goal, plus his duvet cover bears his image, but he dotes on both his old dad and his black kitten Mittens, and he has an innate sense of compassion.

The world’s greatest footballer, Diamantino is improbably sunning himself on his huge yacht on the eve of the 2018 World Cup final (a fictitious contest between Portugal and Sweden) when it encounters a dinghy-full of ailing African refugees. Learning that one broken woman lost her baby during the voyage, Diamantino is traumatised. He misses a last-minute penalty the next day, Portugal loses, and he’s humiliated by viral Internet memes that show him weeping. Interviewed on TV by “Gisele", who has red balloons for lips, Diamantino announces he’s quitting football and wants to adopt a refugee “and give him so much love” (which involves plying the surrogate son with Jumbo Juice and Nutella crepes crushed by mountains of whipped cream).DiamantinoDIamantino is too dim to twig that Rahim, the boy he takes into his rural palace, is a woman, Aisha (Cleo Tavares), who with her fellow Portuguese secret service agent and girlfriend Lucia (Maria Leite) is monitoring him for suspected money laundering. In fact, the footballer’s venal twin sisters, Sonia and Natasha (Anabela and Margarida Moreira, pictured above), have been illegally siphoning his millions into their secret Panama account. They’ve also conspired with the Ministry of Sport and neo-fascist leaders to have him cloned at a high-tech lab so that 11 Diamantinos can make the Portuguese team invincible.

Their purpose is to boost nationalism ahead of the country’s upcoming referendum on whether to remain in the European Union. (Had Harry Kane been cloned before 2016’s UK referendum, one suspects British remainers would have been silenced for good.) To the same end, Diamantino is made to play a Portuguese swordsman vanquishing Moors in a propaganda commercial that touts the building of an immigrant-repelling wall like the one Donald Trump yearns for.

Steered by Diamantino’s deadpan voiceover narration, the movie (which screened in Directors Week at Cannes last year) is nothing if not ambitious. Bookended by dazzling CGI shots, it blends elements of sci-fi thrillers, faux-documentaries, and fairytales (think “Cinderella” and “Sleeping Beauty”).

Consistently amusing – the sisters’ embodiment of nouveau-riche greed and bad taste is a hoot – it’s unexpectedly moving, too, Rahim/Aisha’s and Diamantino’s naturally warm relationship entering new territory after the cloning procedure gives him a new identity. It’s hard to resist any film that honours genderqueerness, kindness, and the beautiful game while sticking it to Brexit and Trump.

The sisters’ embodiment of nouveau-riche greed and bad taste is a hoot

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Comments

As a person working in UN aid relief I expect Diamantino revels in thinking his work funny. He would know more about it if he got off his a**se and saw it himself - not so funny and amusing then !

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