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  • Jennifer Green

Review: "Carnaval"

This frothy film about the #lifelessons an Instagram influencer learns during Carnival in Brazil is as superficial as it sounds, but its postcard-perfect setting and gorgeous cast are easy to watch.

Scenes from the massive, pulsating street parties of Brazil's Carnaval are captivating, and viewers get a tour of some of the locations, people, and traditions of the gorgeous coastal city of Salvador de Bahia when the women are invited to explore tour guide "Salvador's Salvador."

The sexy setting and cast offset a predictable story arc. Of course Nina will risk losing what's truly important to her in her single-minded pursuit of Insta followers. Obviously she needs to put down her phone and learn to enjoy what's "real." Curiously, two other recent Brazilian films -- and Airplane Mode -- took on similar themes.

The actors give it their best effort, especially charismatic lead Cordeiro, but they're straddled with surprisingly one-dimensional characters. The women are drawn in broad strokes -- the social one, the promiscuous one, the quiet one, and the nerdy one (whose actions are often accompanied by her own synthesizer riff to underscore she's, yep, the nerdy one).

Their biggest concerns during this film are having the right bracelet and the right eyeshadow for the right parties. The men are mostly there as topless eye candy. A late twist on Freddy's character offers some welcome depth, but it comes a little late. Still,

If you take this film at face value, meaning you enjoy watching beautiful people partying in gorgeous settings, getting gussied up in glittery costumes, and making out with each other, then go ahead and click on Carnaval.


Read the full review at Common Sense Media.


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