Netflix’s “Carnaval” has a lot on its plate, tackling everything from influencers, the toxic nature of their business, and the complexities of making and maintaining female friendships in that industry. Set against the revelry and pageantry of Brazil’s Carnival celebration, director Leandro Neri’s lighthearted romantic comedy delivers hijinks and a few sweet sentiments about having the courage to embrace destiny. Nevertheless, its broad comedy and thoughtful themes aren’t completely cogent, due to a lack of properly motivated character developments and questionable scenarios.
The digital influencer Nina discovers a video of her boyfriend’s betrayal going viral and, to overcome the breakup, she uses her contacts to travel to Salvador during Carnival, all-inclusive, together with her three best friends. An influencer takes her friends on a free trip to Bahia’s vibrant Carnival, where she learns life’s not just about social media likes.
The movie’s strengths lie in its bouncy, breezy, exhilarating energy, capturing the colorful flavors of the culture, community, and atmosphere. Neri marries the sound of Samba music to the cinema with aesthetic panache, concocting a delightfully infectious rhythm. Montages spotlighting party-goers’ vibrant enthusiasm and god-like beauty give the narrative a second and third wind when the dramatics go stale. The sequence highlighting the ladies’ tour of the town offers vicarious escapism for viewers housebound by the coronavirus — but tone-deaf to the country’s out-of-control case count. Leads Cordeiro, Inocencio, Kayane, and Pascotto (whose dialogue is occasionally punctuated with an 8-bit noise stinger to emphasize her character’s whimsical yearnings) keenly roll with the campy overtones as adeptly as they bring out deeper undertones within the friendship dynamic displayed.
The movie does not feel like it is up to the mark, the character’s reactions and feelings are exaggerated most of the time. However,’ Carnaval ‘ may not necessarily be an animal house project or a rough night but there’s something sweet and endearing about this film amid its flavor of “wild”.
Final Score – [4/10]
Reviewed by – Ritika Kispotta
Follow her @KispottaRitika on Twitter (https://twitter.com/KispottaRitika)
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