If Spring Breakers met Zodiac and Mean Girls and they mixed up a little naively, the final result would be certainly comparable, for atmosphere and suggestion, to Anita Rocha da Silveira’s Mate-me por favor, in Horizons section at the Venice Film Festival.
Even though at the beginning it seems to be a sharp thriller, a quick change of direction soon clarifies the author’s will to escape the traditional genre schemes. The hunt of the serial killer who claims victims among teenagers in Barra da Tijuca, a cold and anonymous district in Rio de Janeiro, is the narrative device used to show a disturbed adolescence, stuck in the middle between parallel passions of love and death.
The young Bia is the main –yet not the absolute- character in this crazed spiral where the discovery of sex coincides with death’s one, in its most brutal form, in a path towards self-awareness that lures and scares at the same time. The loss of innocence, to Bia, doesn’t coincide with a sexual act but with the fact of meet face to face an homicide, embodied by a dying girl that Bia, together with her friends, tries to aid in vain. This death stigma is imprinted on Bia in the moment in which she decides to seal a grim alliance between this life and the next through a kiss on the lips of the girl, killed in the underbrush: and the underbrush becomes, in the final scene, bedding and maybe tomb for Bia, in an ambiguous conclusion that reminds Antichrist’s finale. And while the inquiry of the Brazilian’s director upon her protagonists’ bodies is so punctual that seems morbid, her courageous and sharp style justifies every harassment.
So, who’s the feral killer who tears Barra apart? The doubt persists, even though it’s partly revealed with a suspect that, in the final part, becomes nearly certainty. But in spite of a traditional beginning, the evolution we see in Mate-e por favor stresses, with no doubts, the fact that even the most creepy thriller can prescind from the solution of the case, in order to focus on the terrible psychological consequences on young minds, deviating them towards a bloody growth. Therefore, this is a promising debut, that finally gives to Horizons a fresh new product, in line with the most authentic inspiration of one of the most interesting sections of Venice Festival.
By Alessia Pelonzi
Photos: Alessio Costantino
Translation by Bianca Baroni
In collaboration with Badtaste.it