🇧🇷 Invisible City 🇧🇷
Invisible City (2021) is a Brazilian Netflix Original show. Season 1 has 7 x 31-40 min episodes. Crime, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller. Available with subtitles and dubbing. 15 Cert UK.
“An underground world is inhabited by mythical creatures evolved from a deep lineage of Brazilian folklore. One detective who finds himself caught in a murder investigation that puts him in the middle of a battle between these two worlds.” IMDb
Based on a story by Raphael Draccon
Marco Pigossi as Eric
Jéssica Córes as Camilla
Julia Conrad as Gabriela
Samuel de Assis as João
Manuela Dieguez as Luna
José Dumont as Ciço
Victor Sparapane as Manaus
Wesley Guimarães as Isac
Fábio Lago as Iberê
Jimmy London as Tutu
Áurea Maranhão as Marcia
Tainá Medina as Fabiana
Alessandra Negrini as Inês
Thaia Perez as Januária
Rafael Sieg as Ivo
Directors: Luis Carone & Júlia Pacheco Jordão
Cinematographers: Glauco Firpo & Kaue Zilli
Costume: David Parizotti
Invisible City is an ode to Brazilian folklore. Here is a list of the creatures you will meet in the show with links to more details which are worth reading either before or after watching.
Encantado: a pink river dolphin seducer
Cuco: a humanoid crocodile
Saci: a red-capped prankster
Iara: A singing mermaid
Tapire-iaura: A tapir-nymph
Curupira: The guardian of the forest
One of the Executive Producers is Carlos Saldanha of Rio and Ice Age fame. Another is Caito Ortiz who was also an EP for The Lighthouse.
Before I watched Invisible City I had it described to me as being “magical”. I suspected therefore that this would be right up my “rua” and I was not in the least bit disappointed. There is certainly a strong folklore-magic element running throughout and although it is nicely balanced by the “real world” this is not done dismissively.
The different and original approach in the storyline whilst playing with the trope of a detective trying to prove the murder of his wife works well. That the folkloric elements and characters are intertwined throughout makes this story stand out from the crowd. When we think we know what is going on yet another twist is inserted to great effect. As twisty and turny as a path through the forest itself. There are sections where the tension is palpable.
The Brazilian folklore characters are so vibrant and different from any I have encountered before. I appreciated that they use the little girl’s storybook to help explain some of these as the story unfolds. I was certainly encouraged by this to read up more about this fascinating folklore which is such a mixture of cultures. Regardless of the folklore, this show can still be enjoyed without knowing any of it beforehand.
The costuming in Invisible City is excellent. I particularly loved the use of the plastic bags, such a clever idea which links so well with the whole “city environment” theme. Choices of other costumes for various characters are quirky. Using a shirt colour to bring out the colour of the male lead’s eyes is always a good move.
I really liked both the choice and use of music and songs throughout the show. Evocative, reflective of events, emotional, all really good choices. Off to see if there is a playlist on Spotify now.
The cinematography and locations are other strong points of Invisible City. The range of overhead shots and other camerawork, not always in the easiest of filming conditions, I am sure, is impressive. When you have chosen a city such as Rio de Janiero and the forest in Ubatuba, São Paulo you need to make the most of it. Rio is established in the very first episode with views of Sugar Loaf Mountain. Here both city and forest become characters of their own, which I love, and which does not always happen in TV shows! They also epitomise the clash between rural and urban, new and old, “progress” and ecological awareness. Not just ecological but also the value placed upon traditional beliefs and culture.
I thought the whole cast in this was excellent and it is good to see such a wide range in the casting. The male lead is outstanding (no surprise when you know of his previous work) and the little girl who plays his daughter is a great find.
My lasting thoughts about Invisible City is that it gives the distinct impression that it is made with a lot of heart, passion and respect. I loved its energy and very much hope that a second season will appear at some point. An easy binge-watch as episodes are short and there are only 7 which left me wanting more (always a good sign). I hope that this series is renewed for another season, as it brings something different to the table. Obrigado brasil!
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