'Man Who Copied': Sex, Lies and Fake Cash

By Desson Thomson
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, June 3, 2005

A 19-year-old man named Andre (Lazaro Ramos) is a photocopier in Porto Alegre, Brazil, who wants to do something about his life. He likes to make comic book illustrations. And he's also developing a peeping Tom infatuation with the 18-year-old Silvia (Leandra Leal), a salesgirl who lives across the street with her perverted father. It turns out Dad likes to spy on his daughter in the shower. Andre dreams of a life with Silvia but is too penniless to do anything about it. Eventually, with the help of a co-worker, he schemes to rob an armored truck that picks up money regularly in his neighborhood.

Writer-director Jorge Furtado's movie doesn't do much to rise above its romantic stalker premise, although having a romantic character with no compunction about robbery is something of an original touch. Furtado tries to up the ante with an action-oriented, blackmail-fueled finale and enough hokey coincidences for several lifetimes. But ultimately, "The Man Who Copied" remains never better than fair to middling pleasant. It's emotionally uninvolving because we don't get much of a bead on Andre's character, or Silvia's. What seems to matter most to Furtado is his narratively convoluted scheme.

The Man Who Copied (R, 124 minutes) -- Contains some violence, sexual situations and obscenity . In Portuguese with subtitles. At Landmark's E Street Cinema.

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