“Bingo: The King of the Mornings” Review ✦✦✧✧✧

17 December, 2017

Director: Daniel Rezende
Screenwriter: Luiz Bolognesi
Director of Photography: Lula Carvalho
Vladimir BrichtaEmanuelle AraújoRaul Barreto

Synopsis: A film inspired by real events about a Brazilian man who agrees to adopt the role of a clown in a children’s TV show, creating a life of fame from behind the mask which pushes him to neglect his family and turn to addiction.

Bingo: The King of the Mornings Review:

The feature film debut of editor-turned-director Daniel Rezende, whose work on “City of God” and “Elite Squad” seeps into the foundations of his latest artistic endeavour, “Bingo: The King of the Mornings” is a wacky and tenacious exploration of masked talent, not to be confused with another killer clown movie to round off the Pennywise season as a devious marketing ploy tricks unsuspecting viewers into watching the life and times of a television sensation. As clunky as its film title suggests without a relatable protagonist, the movie shies away from an expansive structure, depicting the climb up and the fall down without ever truly exploring life away from a few key spaces.

Working with the classic Pagliacci the Clown fable but rewriting it to fit the life of Arlindo Barreto, whose experiences working as Bozo the Clown are similar to the path predicted by a haunting cautionary tale, “Bingo: The King of the Mornings” is far from teetotal with TV static and casual sex providing the backdrop to a conflicted existence. Coked up to its eyeballs and stuck in the spirit of the 80s, the film is a whirlwind character study with a South American attitude, feeling garish, playful, and fiendishly foreign in its all-encompassing love for soft-core pornography, soap opera, and children’s entertainment; all of which play a vital role in the attitudes of its titular star.

Although unusual to see a professional clown as the point of focus in a hopped up biopic, “Bingo: The King of the Mornings” slips into familiar territory with its interest in the woes of drug use and alcoholism rendering it simplistic while focusing on numbers and television stats instead of probing into the nationwide effect of Bingo’s success. An oddly uniform affair in which the creative edges feel like nothing but padding in a conventional tale of fame and fatherhood, “Bingo” is forgettable in ways it shouldn’t be, missing a truly dark edge as joviality breeds complacence in a shallow and confined portrayal of life behind the make-up.


Review Date
Bingo: The King of the Mornings