Zeus of the Soccer Field

Diamantino

Director: Gabriel Abrantes & Daniel Schmidt

Cast: Carloto Cotto, Cleo Tavares, Anabela Moreira, Carla Maciel, Margerida Moreira, Chico Chapas, Hugo Santas Silva

Portuguese with English Subtitles

Directors Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt utterly bizarre allegorical fantasy about celebrity, cloning and refugees is set in the world of Portuguese football and focuses on a gorgeous but vacuous young soccer player Diamantino played by Carloto Cotto who is unwittingly controlled first by his father and then his evil twin sisters played by Anabela and Margerida Moreira.

Diamantino is clearly a thinly veiled reference to the most famous Portuguese soccer star in the world Cristiano Ronaldo a professional Portuguese soccer player whose fame and good looks has immortalized him on and off the field. Ronaldo’s brand has been commodified and sold as one of Europe’s most successful and talented soccer players. Ronaldo even has his own underwear brand!

If viewers are expecting the Portuguese language film Diamantino to be an intelligent allegorical tale about Ronaldo then they will be completely surprised.

As the directors are clearly influenced but not enhanced by famed Spanish director Pedro Almodovar, Abrantes and Schmidt turn the film Diamantino into an utterly bizarre tale of celebrity, cloning and the plight of refugees while also making comments about Portuguese nationalism.  

Besides the fluffy puppies that Diamantino’s imagines that he sees every time he scores a goal, this sports, espionage tale gets truly strange as Diamantino gets tricked by the Portuguese secret service in the form of two lesbians one of which is Rahim who pretends to be a refugee named Aisha from Cape Verde and gets inadvertently adopted by the clueless soccer player.

In the meantime, the evil twin sisters plot to have Diamantino’s gorgeous body and his football skills cloned by a bizarre geneticist named Dr Lamborghini which is in actual fact working for the Portuguese National Front that plan on using Diamantino’s star power in a propaganda media campaign to convince the citizens of Portugal to leave the European Union

Set mainly in Lisbon and the surrounding coastline, Diamantino is an utterly strange and bizarre film not even saved by the cardboard box acting of Carloto Cotto, who despite his beautiful looks does not convincingly portray Diamantino with an ounce of character dimensionality or willpower.

Diamantino might be the Zeus of the soccer field, but this film lacks any credibility as an original allegorical fantasy and turns out to be utterly weird in a terrible way.

Diamantino gets a film rating of 6 out of 10 and perhaps will find a unique audience in Portugal or Brazil but certainly not in mainstream international cinema.

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