Bingo: The King of the Mornings Film Review

(5 / 5)

Augusto (Vladimir Brichta) is a father of one and a ‘minion’ soft porn actor hungry for a place in the spotlight, following the footsteps of his mother, a stage artist from the 50’s. Tired of starring in soft porn and soap operas he finally gets the chance to conquer the crowds when he is cast as “BINGO”, a television host clown in a Brasilian adaptation of a successful American live TV show. Having an innately brilliant sense of humour, Augusto feels like the word-to-word translation from English doesn’t make the character justice – the falling ratings and bored kids in the audience are a death sentence to any comedy show. The actor persuades his producer to allow him to improvise, which proves a great success. With his irreverent humour and natural talent, the show is a big hit, but a clause in his contract forbids him from revealing his true identity.

Bingo The King of The Mornings story is inspired by the life of the country’s most famous TV clown, Arlindo Barreto (renamed Augusto, presumably to avoid legal headaches). Augusto becomes an anonymous celebrity and the man behind the clown mask. With makeup on, he brings happiness to children across the country but not to his own son Gabriel, that sees his father distancing himself in chase of fame and success.

In a search for recognition, the actor tries to pitch various channels with his own unmasked show – alas, unsuccessfully. Craving for acknowledgment, he daydreams of revealing his face while receiving the award for Best Children’s Show Host but stops short, afraid of the consequences. Charismatic and humorous, the actor sees his booze and drugs fueled life spiraling down even faster after his only source of support and encouragement – his mother -passes away. It doesn’t take long before the person who made BINGO relevant is disowned from his own show and Augusto hits rock bottom.

Like many actors, Augusto is craving for the limelight and acknowledges that he can’t exist without acting. Arlindo-Augusto spends next 25 years performing in churches, turning his fail into some form of virtue. Filled with irony and humour and an exaggerated pop look from the backstage universe of Brazilian 80’s TV, the film tells the story of a man that whilst looking for his artistic value finds his personal decay.

Vladimir Brichta’s performance is second to none. In portraying Augusto, Vladimir channels a ‘Matthew Mcconaughey’esque’ character – confident, vibrant and fearless. While at the same time, consumed and crushed from understanding that no one will ever know his real name or recognise his unmasked face.

IMDb link.

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