Two Drifters

"OK"

Two Drifters Review


The interesting Portuguese writer/director João Pedro Rodrigues has followed up his strangely memorable and memorably strange O Fantasma (gay Lisbon garbageman prowls the night in a black rubber catsuit looking for dangerous hookups) with the equally strange Two Drifters, a second take on passion gone screwy.

This time around, the idyllic love affair of two good-looking young men, Rui (Nuno Gil) and Pedro (João Carreira), comes to a sudden and tragic end when Pedro dies in a car wreck on the night of their first anniversary celebration. Rui is devastated, but his grief appears normal, at least on the surface.

The same can't be said for Odete (Ana Cristina De Oliveira), a lovely young woman recently spurned by her boyfriend, a cad who refuses to marry or have a baby with her. Although she has had no relationship with Pedro other than the fact that they have lived in the same apartment block, she attends his wake, grieves dramatically over his open casket, and in one especially sick moment even sticks his dead finger into her mouth so she can slip a ring off his finger. She has it refitted and begins wearing it.

At Pedro's funeral she hurls herself into his open grave in a screaming fit and announces that she is pregnant with Pedro's baby, a fact no one believes, although Rui is puzzled by why she has the exact same ring that he and Pedro both gave each other. ("Two drifters" is engraved on the rings, a nod to the lyrics of "Moon River.") Was she Pedro's secret girlfriend?

Odete's behavior continues to grow odder and odder. She takes to adorning Pedro's grave with candles and sleeping atop it. She lies there in the rain, covers herself with mud, and begs Pedro to "fuck me." She bonds with Pedro's baffled mother, who doesn't understand her but wouldn't mind a grandchild. And she even ropes in the suspicious Rui, at least until a hospital visit reveals the truth of her medical condition. At that point, the film tumbles toward a conclusion as perverse and shocking as anything in O Fantasma. It's those final seconds that you'll remember. The dulcet strains of "Moon River" in the background only add to the weirdness.

The problem here is that for all of Odete's outlandish external behavior, there's very little information about the internal turmoil that has created it. She's a complete mystery, and it's impossible to feel much sympathy for her. She's nuts, but why? Because she had a bad boyfriend? Hey, we've all got problems, but we don't all get hysterically pregnant. Maybe that's the point: you never know how someone's going to react to stress. But really, Odete, this is a bit much.

Aka Odete.

Let's drift again.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 98 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 29th December 2005

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 43%
Fresh: 6 Rotten: 8

IMDB: 6.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: João Pedro Rodrigues

Producer: João Pedro Rodrigues

Starring: Ana Cristina Oliveira as Odete, Nuno Gil as Rui, João Carreira as Pedro, Teresa Madruga as Teresa

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