This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Jesse Ortega’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
You know, this movie really left me with an empty feeling inside when I finished it. Not because of anything within the film itself. It's just that this is the first fairly long movie I've watched since my aunt died (she was my movie buddy) and I started this at around 8 pm, give or take a few minutes, and I was done by 10:30 pm. This is more than reasonable, since the film is around two hours and ten minutes long, including the credits. I felt empty because I finished it so early and because I had no one to talk to about it, like I did with my aunt. Sometimes we'd start movies that last 90 minutes and it would take us five hours to finish them for one reason or another. We talked, bathroom breaks, snack breaks, etc. We extended a movie like you wouldn't believe. And that didn't happen here. I sat down with my dinner, I ate my dinner watching the movie. I got up for water/bathroom breaks and then I was done with the movie at a reasonable time. And that made me sad. I just felt empty (and I still feel empty, in general honestly) despite the fact that this is pretty damn great. I will say that the movie, at least for a more casual audience, will be an acquired tasted. But, honestly, for me, what's not to like about this movie? The citizens of a small town in Brazil taking up arms, while they're in the midst of a water rights dispute with the town's mayor, against these white, racist Americans (and one German guy), who wish to eliminate all of the town's citizens and treating it like it's a game. These assholes, probably tr*mp supporters and, if not, they're definitely right-wing cockfaces, view the citizens of this town as inferior and savages. They wanna wipe the town off the face of the earth, literally in that they want to murder everyone and in that the town seems to have been removed from maps, and, as they see it, nobody will even care or notice because, again, they're inferior. So, you know, it's a movie that was designed for me. I hate racist pricks and I'm always down for a film that kills them all. In a lot of ways, the film is also a criticism of colonization and how white people, throughout the course of history, have sought to eliminate cultures that they deemed to be savage or less than through genocide when, obviously, the real savages are the colonizers. So, you know, this movie gets a thumbs up from me. But it is definitely a flick that will test your patience. Everything is a slow build-up to the people of Bacurau realizing that, through mysterious events that happen, there are people out to get them. They don't have any water and they need to wait for a truck to deliver some, which is shot up about midway through the film. Their cell service goes down. An entire family is murdered in this farm. They cut the electricity to the town at midnight the night before their planned massacre to create panic among the citizens. Some shit is clearly going on and the citizens notice and they start to prepare to fight back against the racist, (mostly) American assholes. And all of this takes part across two hours that will feel longer to some people. But the film, in my opinion, is still damn good. Watching the whole climactic act play out is really fucking satisfying. And, to me, that makes its slower parts worth it, because they do know how to properly build up to the moment where it all goes to shit for the Americans, because you really don't know when to expect it. This gets an easy thumbs up from me and, so far, it's the best movie I've seen since I came back. It'll obviously not last, but at least I finally got a good movie in after the previous four movies were not up to snuff. I don't know if I'd recommend this, given how strange and weird it can be, plus its pacing might be off-putting go some, but I thought this was a great movie. Ultimately, that's what matters to me.