22 December 2002 | FafaSays
An enticing story!
What do you get when you mix the story of two young lovers and the making of a human clone? You get an interesting story by way of a Brazilian telenovela (soap opera) called O CLONE (The Clone).
Known for incorporating social issues into her stories, Glória Perez includes the following topics in her latest telenovela: Drug addiction, Middle Eastern culture (Muslim lifestyle), and science fiction (human cloning). Given the current news headlines of cloning and the Middle East, the telenovela becomes even more important and gives cause for discussion after viewing each episode.
O CLONE takes the viewer to two striking locations - modern-day Brazil and Morocco. The two main characters are introduced - Jade, a headstrong Muslim girl from Morocco and Lucas, a docile, daydreamer from Brazil with a Catholic religious background. The two meet and fall in love. The problem is that their different cultures make it difficult for a union between them. Jade's family has chosen a family for her, and Lucas's family is reluctant for him to marry a foreigner. In addition to their story, a scientist creates a human clone after a loved one prematurely dies. This clone later becomes an important part of the lives of Jade and Lucas.
The viewer gets a chance to see a Muslim household and what goes on there. Some of the scenes may be a bit exaggerated since the storytellers use poetic license to make the story more dramatic. However, the scenes can be used to open up a dialogue of discussion about a culture that may not be known or understood by many in the west. Despite the differences between the cultures - Christian and Muslim, it becomes clear that there are many similarities such as one's love of family and the desire to find happiness.
Veteran novela director, Jayme Monjardim and his team have produced an outstanding product with O CLONE. His handiwork shows beautiful close-ups of the actors and enchanting shots of the land and cityscape of Morocco and Brazil. He skillfully captures both places.
The lead actress, Giovanna Antonelli (Jade), gives a believable presentation as the Muslim girl, torn between following her true heart's desire and the dictates of her family to marry the man chosen for her. Lead actor, Murilo Benício (Lucas) also gives a winning performance as the young man who has fallen in love with a girl from a different society who his family will not accept. Benício plays three different roles - twins and the clone. Each character is different and convincing.
The rest of the cast also gives strong performances. This includes Stênio Garcia as Uncle Ali, Elaine Giardini as Nazira, Daniela Escobar as Maysa, Vera Fischer as Yvette, Reginaldo Farias as Leônidas, Letícia Sabatella as Latiffa, Dalton Vigh as Said, Antonio Calloni as Mohamed, Adriana Lessa as Deusa, and Jandira Martini as Zoraide. Actually the cast list goes on I'm sure you get the idea. All the actors are good.
O CLONE captured the attention of over 18 million viewers in Brazil. The telenovela successfully took hold of the American T.V. audience, as well. Brazilian telenovelas shown in the U.S. are usually dubbed into Spanish. For the first time in the history of telenovelas shown in the U.S., English sub-titles (closed caption) have been included. Now, non-Spanish speakers have a chance to enjoy the story as well.
In addition to an arresting and sometimes controversial storyline, the telenovela has a fun music soundtrack full of Brazilian and Middle Eastern music. Thanks to musical director, Marcus Viana, the music adds to the success of the novela as a whole.
O CLONE is one of those telenovelas that doesn't waste your time. I highly recommend this Brazilian soap opera for your viewing pleasure.