Walter Iuzzolino’s series on Channel 4 – Walter Presents – selects the most popular, critically acclaimed television dramas from around the world, allowing anyone with a laptop and Wi-Fi in Britain to falsely feel like they are cultured through watching handpicked shows (such as Spain’s Locked Up to Belgian black-comedy thriller The Out-Laws) for free on Channel 4’s streaming service All 4.
Each week Sinead McCausland will be reviewing a new show that the titular Walter has selected, hopefully encouraging more fans of world drama TV shows that aren’t American. Here are her thoughts on the Brazilian show Magnifica ’70.
Described by Walter as a ‘very extreme show’, Magnifica ’70 begins by following the life of a film censor (Vicente, played by Marcos Winter) bored with his job, wife and life. This all changes, however, when Simone Spoladore’s Dora Dumar – a leading actress in an erotic film – enters his life and the audience watch Vicente go against the morals of his work and his marriage as he falls in love with Dora.
The Brazilian show is hilarious, full of colour in terms of narrative and what you see on screen (note the deep reds as a sex scene is filmed and the polarizing greys when Vicente is completing his work as a film censor), as well as innovative. Audiences are sometimes directly addressed by Marcos Winter’s Vicente, making it seem as though his character is confessing or pleading to the audiences as if it’s a more serious, David Brent-less version of The Office.
Characters in this show talk fast, and this fast-paced dialogue is mirrored through to the narrative; we have Dora who is secretly trying to rob the company she works for, Vicente’s wife becoming closer and closer to discovery his secret, and a fake film sets to ruin someone’s work life and even whole life. Yet, unlike some shows where the plot is so fast-paced it becomes jarring, Magnifica ’70 is so entertaining to watch, often being described as a Brazillian cross between Mad Men and The Sopranos.
Walter describes the show best when he says the show is a ‘mesmerising blockbuster’ that combines ‘thriller and melodrama wrapped up in a certificate 18 Brazilian fairy tale,’ and this is a fairy tale you don’t want to miss out on.
Magnifica ’70 is available to watch here on All 4.