Film Review: Diamantino

Unfortunately, we live in a world where fame and fortune often have precious little to do with ability, intelligence or hard work. This vacuous throw-away culture has led to a cult of personality which has allowed the likes of Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian to succeed. Today, pop stars, musicians and footballers have more sway over the general populous than scientists, political leaders and great thinkers. This is the theme for Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s new film Diamantino.

Diamantino Matamouros (Carloto Cotta) is one of the biggest names in football and has taken Portugal to the cusp of winning the World Cup. At that very moment he loses his gift and turns from hero to villain overnight. His sisters (Anabela Moreira and Margarida Moreira) are determined not to let their cash-cow go and enrol him in a series of secret medical experiments by the strange Dr. Lamboughini (Carla Maciel). Meanwhile, a detective (Cleo Tavares) goes undercover to investigate him for money laundering.

No one could ever accuse Abrantes and Schmidt of being unimaginative or predictable in the choices they make on Diamantino. Everything from celebrity culture, neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, nationalism and tax avoidance fall under their purview. It’s perhaps no surprise that this is a Portuguese film given the familiarity of the main character. It’s exhilarating to watch something so outlandishly original as Diamantino. The fluffy pink social realist fantasy satire for the ages. Categorise under good.

Diamantino is in cinemas from 10 May.

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