By Thaís Britto, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO – A young couple that is about to break up has one hour to say goodbye and re-evaluate their relationship. That’s the basic premise for “Apenas o fim” (Just the end), first movie of 20-year-old director and screenwriter Matheus Souza which releases this Friday in theaters.
The project, developed by him along with his fellows cinema students from PUC (one of the major universities in Rio and Brazil) was awarded Best Movie by the audience in last year’s Rio International Film Festival, and also selected for many exhibitions around the world, such as Off Camera in Krakow, the International Film Festival Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Miami International Festival in USA and the Brazilian Film Festival in Paris, France.
Any young Brazilian between 18 and 30 years old will be able to identify with the script, full of pop culture references that go from the Backstreet boys, Power Rangers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to Michel Gondry’s “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”. While they talk over their break up, the characters remember special moments or silly chats and reveal a portrait of the generation that grew up in the 90’s.
Richard Linklater’s “Before Sunrise” almost screams from the screen as you watch the movie, and it’s a big reference according to the director. The idea came when Matheus was still a second year student, still only 19 years old.
“I used as a reference movies that were based in dialogues, focused in two characters and with little action, just like ‘Before Sunrise’. I always liked to write, since I was a child, specially dialogues. So, it was a quick and fun task”, he says.
The couple is played by the actors Gregório Duvivier and Érika Mader, who Matheus met at Tablado, a famous stage theater course in Rio. Both have already worked in other movies, plays, soap operas and Érika even hosts a TV show nowadays. But they had a very special affection for “Apenas o fim”.
“When I read the script, what captivated me was the simplicity, the universal theme, the non-obvious humor and the lightness with which the tragedy is treated. I never thought the movie would become so famous. An university movie being finished is already rare, released in the circuit is a miracle”, says Gregório.
The movie was all shoot inside the university, because they couldn’t take the camera outside the campus. To raise money to begin the shooting, the director took a bottle of scotch and ran a raffle trough his friends.
Unpretentious and even amateur, the project earned points for being also simple, intelligent, daring and, over all, very sincere. That is also one of the reasons Matheus has to answer a constant question: are you the main character?
“I don’t know. Sometimes I find myself so similar to him and other times so different. My friends believe that he’s my perfect copy. I don’t doubt it. He’s the result of a screenwriter that is addicted to authorial artists like Woody Allen and Nick Hornby. So, it’s natural that his first work represents part of his personality”.
This Friday is Valentine’s Day in Brazil and to make sure people don’t feel depressed by a movie about breaking up, the premiere will come along with a party. It will take place at Espaço de Cinema, in Botafogo.
Whoever buys tickets to the last session of the movie, at 11:30PM, can attend the party with the DJs Yugo and João Brasil. The ticket for movie and party cost R$50 (full) and R$25 (student card).