23 February 2007 | claudio_carvalho
The Sordid, Hypocrite and Easily Manipulated Society
When a pedestrian is hit by a bus, the simple clerk Arandir (Ney Latorraca) runs and kisses the moribund in a gesture of sympathy and unconditional pure love. The opportunist scum photographer Amado Pinheiro (Daniel Filho) witnesses the scene and sees the opportunity to sell newspaper and together with the despicable and abusive chief of police Cunha (Oswaldo Loureiro), they accuse Arandir of homosexuality. Further, they say that the victim would be his lover and had been killed by Arandir because he was jealous. Meanwhile, his father-in-law Aprígio (Tarcísio Meira) that does not like him goes to the suburban village to tell his daughter and Arandir's beloved wife Selminha (Christiane Torloni) and her sister Dália (Lidia Brondi) that Arandir is at the police station. On the next morning, when the newspapers are distributed, Arandir is in the headline and later is humiliated in his work and in the village where his family lives. While Amado and Cunha manipulate the event and witnesses, common people believe that Arandir is gay and a killer, with tragic consequences.
I have just finished watching this version of " O Beijo no Asfalto" and I found it again a magnificent transposition of a tragic and cruel play of Nelson Rodrigues, one of the best Brazilian dramaturge, to the cinema. The story shows how sordid, hypocrite and easily manipulated the society is, transforming a magnanimous act of sympathy and pure love in the subject of prejudice and malevolence. Brazil for many years had lived under a dictatorship, and one of the consequences is that the police until the 90's was very abusive and tabloids could destroy lives without further consequences. The writer Nelson Rodrigues, who had a very amoral view of the Church, the family and the mankind, used these elements together to write this famous play. In his view, all the families are or become rotten; the middle class is very decadent and false; all the women are bitch and like to be spanked; mankind and church are corrupt and hypocrite. Therefore, " O Beijo no Asfalto" is a perfect sample of the world of Nelson Rodrigues. The direction and cast are fantastic, and Daniel Filho has certainly one of his best performances ever. I hope that readers overseas have the chance to watch this great movie. My vote is nine.
Title (Brazil): "O Beijo no Asfalto" ("The Kiss on the Asphalt")