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Adio, Rio

Bulgaria 1989
produced by
Boyana Film
directed by Ivan Andonov
starring Filip Trifonov, Vania Tzvetkova, Petar Popyordanov, Georgi Mamalev, Nikola Rudarov, Georgi Rusev, Natalia Dontcheva, Nadya Todorova, Latinka Petrova, Ventzislav Iliev, Katya Chukova, Nikola Todev, Dimitar Goranov, Pavel Popandov, Anani Yavashev, Ivan Grigorov, Kalin Arsov, Kina Dasheva, Atanas Bozhinov, Stancho Stanchev, Zlatina Doncheva, Stefan Bobadov
written by Marko Stojchev, music by Kiril Marichkov

Jesus Christ

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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Architect Stoev (Filip Trifonov) wants nothing more than to leave his home country Bulgaria behind and go for a working assignment to Rio de Janeiro, even if that in a way means to betray his home and his friends. But with only days before his departure, he runs over a passer-by, and since he can't risk any kind of problem right now, he gets rid of the body in an illegal way. Thing is, the body doesn't remain gotten rid of, it seems to return to the car, whatever he does. Stoev even tries to get rid of the body the usual way, leaving it at the hospital or the morgue, but to no avail. Eventually, he tries to get rid of the body by dumping it into a river, illegally burying it, or smuggling it into the garbage truck - but it always returns. What's worse, Stoev even drags his wife (Vania Tzvetkova) and daughter (Natalia Dontcheva) into the mess.

Soon, problems arise, because if you've got a surplus dead body on your hands, people you don't want to notice are bound to anyways ... but here's the strange part, not everyone sees the body, children for example don't, and it eventually becomes evident that the dead body is the manifestation of the guilt Stoev feels from leaving everything behind. Thing is, after a while, the body doesn't only pop up when Stoev is around but becomes more of a general nuisance, as everybody seems to feel some kind of guilt. Plus, eventually, Stoev turns to Christianity, and once his new faith has taken care of his guilt, he cannot see the body anymore - but those around him still can.

It's only when Stoev receives his tickets for Rio that he is able to see the dead body again, and now he is able to deal with it in a humane manner - and finds out the body might be that of Jesus Christ himself.

 

Basically, Adio, Rio is the perfect vehicle for intellectuals from the former Wesern Block who love to pretend to see political meaning in every single frame of a film like this one, and therefore praise it as biting satire.

To be quite honest though, there are some satirical elements in Adio, Rio, I do not deny that, but in all, it's more of a light-footed and mild-mannered comedy more than anything else, a film that shies away from its more macabre elements while it sugar-coats its satirical undercurrents and at times way too readily embraces mediocre slapstick. As for its political relevance though - don't believe everything you read, with only minor altrations this film could have been made in any Western European country just as well.

In all, an ok comedy, but nothing even remotely resembling a classic.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
-
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.

 

Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
Amazon!!!

 

 

 

On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD