27 July 2020 | Rodrigo_Amaro
A very good film though slightly erratic with its justification
The title doensn't lie, it is just another story in Rio de Janeiro and highly believable when it comes to present criminal acts and the many social clashes between
those who have and those who have not.
Here, the upper class Rodolfo (the always fabulous Daniel de Oliveira) faces a difficult dilema after being robbed
by a man (Fábio Lago) who later is discovered to be a police officer. Hours earlier, Rodolfo was having a conscience crisis about the social cultural barriers
between the reality faced by many poor people living around him and the good yet empty life he leads with his girlfriend (Giselle Itié) and their dull
rich friends. Obviously that with a gun pointed to his head and death threats his view might change a little...but not that much. It all goes back to haunt
him when both men are face to face a second time and a twist crashes in.
In "Apenas Uma História no Rio", writer and director Raul Guterres makes a very dramatic and suspenseful thriller that challenges its audience. It has
great rhythm and excellent acting, which gives plenty of credit to the project. My objection with the film comes right after its conclusion (it's a full
circle when it should have a more open ending, with questionings for the public); it's the final credits of which I'll complain. Hear me out: a statistic is
shown with some facts about the public safety problematic reality in Rio. At the same time it presents as understandable the police situation - and I don't
know where the information was obtained, to which I find it hard to believe it's real (not the story, but the information given on police authorities
payment), but it seems the film was made not to expose a situation - it gives the impression of justifying the means for bad apples actions in many police departments.
Without the statistic and the opinion given at the end the movie would work better. Instead, it's basically saying that everything we'd seen the bad cop doing
is okay. The change of heart for Rodolfo in the
moment of decision is valid, slightly believable and he doesn't carry the weight of making what everyone thinks it's right - there's several points to be
thought out, but he makes his point, no harm done. Maybe...
A few times I changed my mind over a movie because of one objetionable thing that I felt it destroyed the idea of the movie or an erratic speech by its
makers. With this one I won't do that because I trusted more in the story, its presentation and acting than the "facts" presented. It's a though-provoking
short film, it'll give plenty of food for thought and create a great debate in general society, specially in Brazil. I don't feel it's a divided opinion but
common solutions to the violence problem and police corruption would be achieved faster than actually solving them. And here we are with a huge dilema though
not as big as the one faced by Rodolfo. But it happens. 9/10
P.S.: not sure if the original release was presented in such way/format but the version I saw comes with English captions, so I'm hoping for more viewers
from around the world.