Good Manners : ‘BUFF’ Capsule Review
‘Good Manners’ is an allegorical film that takes a subtle jibe at the class divide, racism, and domestication. And more importantly, on the larger spectrum it portrays, without any filter of race, that how love can tame an animal inside us, literally & metaphorically. Adding the elements of horror, this sharp commentary on the society we live in aesthetically paints itself like a fairy tale by creating a contrast color palate in two halves and fusing it with a jukebox of the cradle songs.
The film feels like two different films seemingly stitched together by genre and blood. Clara (Zuaa) is an independent Afro-Brazilian nurse looking for a job while Ana (Estiano) is a wealthy pregnant woman living alone in her apartment. Divided by their race, class & its by-product, Ana hesitantly hires Clara as a caretaker and they bond together over their loneliness in a city that reminiscences of dystopian ruin. They soon fall in love. But one fateful night, Clara encounters a disturbing nudge in the behavior of Ana that pushes the boundary of the genre to horror and changes the course of Clara’s life.
“Good Manners” is a well crafted psychological horror-noir layered by thick subtexts that cramps multiple issues but is slightly weight down by an overlong running length & juvenile climax. Driven by strong performances across the board, impressive cinematography, production design, and meticulous use of music, film-makers Marco Dutra and Juliana Rojas creates a credible & sympathetic werewolf lore.