My Name Isn't Johnny

Brazil, 2008
Original title: Meu Nome Não é Johnny

Language: Portuguese
Director: Mauro Lima
Starring: Selton Mello, Cleo Pires
IMDB: 7.4

This is the true story of João Guilherme Estrella, a cocaine dealer in Rio de Janeiro in the early 1990s. He likes to party, starts doing drugs, gets into dealing, gets introduced to a big dealer, lives the high life, gets busted, goes to jail.

If this sounds somewhat familiar then you've seen 'Blow' too. Cos yeah, it's pretty much the same story.

I guess that's the reality of reality ... it's predictable. Or is it? Maybe the only movies made about drug dealers are the ones where they get caught. Just so we send the right message to the kids you know?

What I'd really like to see is a movie about a drug dealer that didn't fuck up! Lets' see a guy beating the system ... partying hard, making stacks of cash, cavorting with supermodels and rock stars, finding ingenious ways to foil the D's. Now that would be an interesting take on the drug-dealer genre. (If you know of such a film let me know.)

However this movie isn't it. This version is based in Brazil, and the dealer is fairly small-time. The highlight is Selton Mello's believable performance as Joao, and Cleo Pires is gorgeous as his wife Sofia. There are also some great support actors - especially the crazy dude in the asylum.

I guess what this movie brings to the party, so to speak, is a view of coke culture in Brazil in the 1990s. But at its heart, this is just a biopic of one guy and his life.

Its a very good film ... but its main letdown is that Blow was there first. If you liked Blow and are into realistic film portrayals of real-life drug dealers, and would like to see the Brazilian version, it'd be worth a look.

Twisted rating: 6/10

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