One of the best Brazilian films on Netflix is 7 Prisioneiros, a touching drama that tackles an uncomfortable social issue: modern slavery. The film is starred by Christian Malheiros, Nando de Sintonia, and also has Rodrigo Santoro in its cast. Known for acclaimed Hollywood performances, Santoro completely changed his look to act in the feature; see below.
7 Prisoners had an extremely praised debut at the Venice Film Festival. The film also won international specialized critics, reaching an impressive 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
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The film follows the story of Mateus – played by Christian Malheiros –, a young man who leaves the countryside in search of a job opportunity in São Paulo. In the journey for a better future, the protagonist ends up becoming a victim of a work system with conditions analogous to slavery in a junkyard.
In this rather complicated scenario, the protagonist begins to understand how exploitation systems work and how deep the wounds of social inequality in Brazil are.
Rodrigo Santoro’s Transformation into 7 Prisoners
One of the most important characters in 7 Prisoners is Luca, who is in charge of the junkyard. He is played by Rodrigo Santoro, who spoke about the important theme of the film during a Netflix event.
“This film sheds light on such an important topic and, unfortunately, little discussed. Luca is one of the most difficult characters I’ve played, he moved me a lot and he still does,” says the Hollywood star.
In an interview during the film’s premiere on Netflix, director Fernando Meirelles revealed Rodrigo Santoro’s transformation to play his role in 7 Prisoners.[display-posts orderby="rand"]
“Rodrigo likes to participate in the character, the costumes, even the haircut, everything”, commented the filmmaker about Luca’s characterization.
Meirelles also stated that a good part of the character’s look was suggested by Rodrigo Santoro himself – see a photo below.
“He wanted to deconstruct this pretty guy, strong guy thing, so his posture in the movie, makeup, hair, he wanted to look as bad as possible,” revealed the director.
In 7 Prisoneiros, Rodrigo Santoro actually appears much more “disheveled” than usual, which left some of the Netflix viewers impressed.
In addition to Rodrigo Santoro as Luca, 7 Prisioneiros has an excellent performance by Christian Malheiros as the protagonist Matheus.
Famous for playing Nando from the series Sintonia, the actor is also known for his excellent performance in the film Socrates – for which he was nominated for the Independent Spirit Award for Best Actor.
In an interview with Splash website, the actor talked about his character and the questions caused by the uncomfortable theme of the film.
“The more we go into this process, we see how cruel it is. Sometimes it makes you want to give up. Do I want to touch that wound? Can I handle it? Because I’m not a person who was enslaved, I’m borrowing myself for that. Do I have stuff? There were several questions”, comments the actor.
7 Prisoners is available in the Netflix catalog.