Director Sandra Werneck tells the three variant stories with a degree of wry humour each of the storylines open with a pan up Murilo Benicios bed; in the first showing him in bed with his wife, then with another man and then alone, before cutting to different scenarios in the kitchen, each beginning with toast popping up out of the toaster. What is particularly good is the performances given by the two leads Murilo Benicio and Carolina Ferraz. Both are required to undergo genuine chameleon shifts throughout each storyline he from a bespectacled milquetoast professional who seems detached from the comfortable middle-class lifestyle he leads, to a handsomely polished gay man, to a scruffy, carefree and distinctly boyish playboy. She undergoes an even more radical shift, vying between an embittered divorcee still simmering over her husband betraying her for another man to a wild and carefree, live-for-the-moment artist. It is these character shifts that make the film work and involve some excellent acting on the part of either actor. There are other good performances elsewhere, especially from Irene Ravache as Murilo Benicios mother, where she and Benicio maintain an on-screen rapport that is delightful.
On the minus side, one was disappointed in Sandra Werneck not thinking things out in terms of an alternate timelines scenario. For a film that offers up three different views of two people reconnecting after failing to meet for a date at a cinema fifteen years earlier, Werneck never tells us what caused such widely divergent changes and why these are dependent on that missed date. Werneck also creates some wide-ranging changes without considering the causes of these or what they would mean for the central character. For example, one timeline establishes that Carlos is now a gay man. So surely that would mean that in all the other timelines Carlos would at the very least have bisexual tendencies? Werneck cannot surely be suggesting that sexual identity is just suddenly something we wake up one day and decide that we are. In another timeline, Carlos lives with a doting and possibly smothering mother, but she is not there in the other timelines. Surely such a figure would have had influence over how the other characters came out, but it is almost by implication that in the other versions of his life Carlos has no mother at all. What we needed to see here was an understanding of how these different character shifts came about, something that would not seem too hard to devise on the face of it.
One was also a little disappointed in the script raising the idea of Carlos and Julia being soulmates and then each of the three stories reaching a conclusion that has the two decide it doesnt work and settling for someone else. While the film does go out on a brief coda where the two do get together on the original cinema date after all, the dramatic thrust of the bulk of the film is a bittersweet one that says finding the person we think is right for us never seems to work out.
Trailer here (no subs):-
Clip from the film here with subtitles:-
Full film available online here (no subs):-