A low budget Brazilian production about a poor country boy struggling to collect enough money to buy medicine for his ill grandmother The Eight Color of the Rainbow (1997) is director Amauri Tangara's one and only foray into the world of cinema. Unevenly paced and at times looking awkwardly amateurish pic walks a familiar route, it stumbles upon a string of clichés. Appealingly lensed vistas from Brazil's countryside make pic's rough spots less noticeable but aren't enough to secure a solid recommendation.
11-year-old Joãozinho (Diego Borges) decides to sell his closest friend, a pet goat named Mocinha, so he could buy his sick grandmother the medicine she needs. Unfortunately, there aren't any buyers in his poverty stricken village. Determined to help Joãozinho heads to the big city.
Mimicking the improvisational tone and aesthetic direction favored by the Italian neorealists The Eight Color of the Rainbow is a film where style and substance are difficult to locate. Its story, a simple but unappealing examination of child mentality, is built upon a single character whose tiptoeing between reality and a world of hallucinatory dreams quickly wears off causing the viewer to remain impartial to his obviously noble intentions.
The second half in Tangara's film is where the story noticeably drags. The main character is caught in a repetitive cycle of disappointments which often seem unbelievable and inadequately captured by the camera. Instead of focusing on the emotional turmoil raging in the little boy's soul Tangara appears more concerned with following a clichéd road-picture map which quickly impacts the few elements that actually work here. As a result The Eight Color of the Rainbow simply loses focus and becomes a predictable tale with little substance, if at all.
The tech presentation is equally unimpressive. While there are occasional scenes that shine through the overall feel of a film with little to offer is overwhelmingly persistent. Even when the camera wanders through the Brazilian countryside, arguably the area where Tangara's vision comes through, it is somewhat rushed and in dissonance with the rest of the film.
How Does the DVD Look?
Presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 but not enhanced for widescreen TVs the film looks flat, often out of focus. Contrast is notably inconsistent and greatly affecting the quality of the presentation. Often there seems to be a great deal of contrast-boosting which coupled with the abundance of edge-enhancement visible here leads to a below average image quality bound to upset many with sensitive home set-ups. The actual print appears to be in a somewhat healthy condition as I did not notice any disturbing signs of damage or wear yet it looks dated.
How Does the DVD Sound?
Presented with a Portuguese DD track and imposed English subtitles the audio treatment is acceptable. The dialog is easy to follow and there aren't any glitches that I could detect.
Unfortunately this disc does not offer any supplemental materials.
The Eight Color of the Rainbow is a film that may appeal to a very limited group of viewers, perhaps someone familiar with the local area where the story takes place will find more to appreciate in it than I did. Unfortunately the universal message Amauri Tangara attempts to deliver simply did not resonate with me. Rent it.