Three Reasons to Watch: Diamantino
Every week, Curzon or a guest editor recommends a key film from the Curzon Home Cinema collection. This week, it’s arguably the most outrageous, surreal and hilarious football satire to reach the screen.
There is a special kind of film, which comes along every few years, that stands apart from all the other releases. It’s not that it’s strange. More that it looks like it was incubated, raised and developed on the planet insanity, with one foot in bonkers and the other paddling through WTF barminess. Diamantino fits this bill perfectly; a film so nutty, it’s surprising that producers could raise the money to make it. But then, perhaps that’s the appeal – why people had faith in it. Diamantino is so mad, it would be insane not to want to see it.
To give away too much of the plot here would spoil the experience. Suffice to say that its titular hero is the world’s greatest footballer. He can create magic on the pitch and has a scoring record none can match. When he’s about to score a goal, Diamantino experiences an epiphany quite unlike anything you’ll have seen.
But, following the sudden death of his father, and when a sure-fire goal goes amiss, Diamantino suffers a breakdown that turns his world upside down. That’s a downer for his egotist sisters and anyone with a vested interest in making money from his career. But for Diamantino, it provides a moment to search his soul and take a step back from his career to survey the world around him.
Shifting from the glitzy world of premium football to the global migration crisis via a right-wing, anti-Europe political party might seem a huge stretch, but writer-directors Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt succeed because of the audacity of their screenplay. Diamantino is a dazzling satire that hits its targets perfectly and employs humour to savage the wilfully ignorant and myopically prejudiced.
Three reasons to watch Diamantino
• Every time Diamantino goes to score a goal. We won’t spoil it for you here, but it does beg the question: is this really what happens in Cristiano Ronaldo’s mind every time he’s about to put one in the back of the net?
• Anabela and Margarida Moreira are a delight as Diamantino’s fairy tale-like cruel twin sisters.
• The experience of watching one of the most barking mad films to hit our screens in the last decade.
There are some films that have to be seen to be believed. Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s story of a footballer who loses his mojo and opens his eyes to the world in order to recapture it is one of them.
Diamantino is the world's premiere soccer star, but he’s lost his special touch and and his career looks to be over. Searching for a new purpose, the international icon sets off on a delirious odyssey where he confronts neo-fascism, the refugee crisis, genetic modification, and the hunt for the source of genius. It’s a mad, deliriously entertaining ride.
Diamantino is available to watch on Curzon Home Cinema