Review: DIAMANTINO Is So Weird You May Love It

FIRST IMPRESSION

When you finally figure out what is going on in the head of Diamantino, the film becomes enjoyable in all of its absurdity.
Writing
Directing
Acting
Technical Merit

Diamantino is a new Portuguese sci-fi comedy film written and directed by Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt. The film follows the top soccer star from Portugal as his career comes to a sudden end, sending him on an unusual quest to find himself again. It has played at festivals including the 2018 Cannes Critics’ Week and the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival.

This film’s story is unabashedly weird in many ways, although herein lies a majority of the film’s charm. If you enjoy films that bask in their bizarreness, this is sure to be one of the most enjoyable films you see all year. However, you do have to have quite a tolerance for weirdness, because it takes about half of the film’s runtime before it is able to come together. For the first half of the film, there are just a bunch of seemingly random scenes going on tied together by an unreliable and inconsistent narrator.

One of the film’s more pressing issues is that the character development is extremely underwhelming. The film’s protagonist is obviously meant to fall into the lovable goof archetype, and although he does fulfill that every once in a while, he is more often than not exhibiting only the latter of the two qualities. More should have been done to make the protagonist likable. His innocence goes a long way, but the film’s attempts at making him appear altruistic come across as insincere. The supporting characters are also very archetypal, especially the protagonist’s evil twin sisters who are particularly bland.

In terms of humor, the film has some extremely funny moments, but many of the funny moments last much longer than they probably should. A majority of the best parts, such as the fluffy puppies, are introduced early on and get a significant laugh the first time, but are used so many times throughout that they eventually lose their impact. Also not as impactful as they should be are the moments that are intended to be emotionally resonant. The most touching moments in the film are lost because the film can’t seem to find the perfect balance between humor and heart.

A scene from Diamantino, courtesy Kino Lorber.

That being said, the film is an extremely effective satire providing commentary on social issues. The direct satire on the Brexit controversy is obvious but very funny. The part of the film that is slightly more subtle and will likely connect with American audiences more easily is the commentary it offers on the relationship between celebrity and ego. Diamantino and his sisters serve as over-the-top representations of how fame can influence people in different ways.

The acting in the film is surprisingly good because it fits the campy B-movie style of the story and filmmaking. Carloto Cotta portrays the eponymous protagonist in a way that is relentlessly enjoyable to watch. Even though the character may not be the most interestingly-written, Cotta does lend the character a ton of charisma. Anabela and Margarita Moreira play the protagonist’s evil twins, and they do so in a way that matches Cotta’s campy fun.

The film’s flaws on a technical level are extremely obvious, but they almost fit given the fact that the film isn’t meant to be taken seriously. For example, the CGI is pretty bad due to the film’s low budget. However, this adds another layer of camp to the film, because watching a soccer player interact with poorly superimposed giant puppies is pretty hilarious. There are some other humorously bad images, but those are best left unspoiled.

Overall, Diamantino was an ambitious and wacky B-movie that falls flat at times. That being said, it is undeniably very creative, so if you want to watch a unique film, look no further.

Diamantino opens in theaters on May 24.

TRENDING THIS WEEK

BTS of Elle & Marco’s Arcade Dance Scene | The Kissing Booth 2 | Netflix

Take a look at what Elle and Marco's arcade dance scene looked like before special effects. Joey King and Taylor Zakhar Perez were actually dancing in a giant green screen room! Watch The Kissing Booth, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81026818 SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid…

Sabrina Carpenter & Liza Koshy Judge Each Other’s Dance Moves | Work It | Netflix

Sabrina Carpenter and Liza Koshy from the Netflix dance movie Work It put each other's dancing skills to the test in Makin' Moves! Watch Work It, Only on Netflix: https://www.netflix.com/title/81132038 SUBSCRIBE: https://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with over 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series,…

The Third Day: Official Trailer | HBO

When was the last time you really let go? #TheThirdDay premieres September 14 at 9PM. #HBO Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: https://goo.gl/wtFYd7 Created by Dennis Kelly and Felix Barrett, The Third Day is told over the first three episodes. “Summer” follows Sam, a man drawn to a mysterious Island off the British coast, who encounters…

Sailing | World’s Toughest Race

Paddling up to 12 hours over a distance greater than the Panama Canal is just a part of this expedition race. If teams don’t take care of themselves and each other, The World’s Toughest Race can quickly spiral out of control. From the creator of Survivor, 66 teams descend upon Fiji to compete in the…

What We Do In The Shadows | Season 2: Guillermo Transformation Panel Cast Chat | FX

If he wasn’t familiar before, he made sure you’ll never forget his name again. Check out @HarveyGuillen talk about Guillermo’s transformation. #ComicConAtHome #FXSDCC Subscribe now for more What We Do in the Shadows clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX What We Do in the Shadows follows four vampires who’ve “lived” together for hundreds of years. In Season 2, the…

Lucifer Season 4 Recap | Netflix

Get caught up on the last season of Lucifer before all hell breaks loose. Season 5 Part 1 premieres August 21 only on Netflix. Watch Lucifer, only on Netflix: http://netflix.com/lucifer SUBSCRIBE: http://bit.ly/29qBUt7 About Netflix: Netflix is the world's leading streaming entertainment service with 193 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries…

Archer | Season 11: Quarantine Recording Cast Chat | FXX

Barry can’t stop the team, and neither can quarantine. Learn about recording during quarantine on the #ArcherFXX #ComicConAtHome panel. #FXSDCC‌ Subscribe now for more Archer clips: http://bit.ly/SubscribeFX In season 11 of FXX‘s comedy Archer, “Sterling Archer“ is ready to return to the spy world after a three-year coma. While many things changed during his absence,…

Jungle Trekking | World’s Toughest Race

Trekking over 110 Kilometers in dense damp jungle with nothing but a compass and your teammates is just one small reason why it truly is The World’s Toughest Race. From the creator of Survivor, 66 teams descend upon Fiji to compete in the most epic global adventure race ever attempted. Bear Grylls hosts this 11-day…
Avatar
Sean Boelman
Sean is a film student, aspiring filmmaker, and life-long cinephile. For as long as he can remember, he has always loved film, but he credits the film Pan's Labyrinth as having started his love of film as art. Sean enjoys watching many types of films, although some personal favorite genres include dramatic comedies, romantic comedies, heist films, and art horror.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here