The Man Who Copied

Rated R 2005

The first hour-plus of this Brazilian film is a smart, surprisingly captivating story about a young man with depressing prospects. Told mostly in voiceover, it follows Andre (Lázaro Ramos) to and from his low-paying, dead-end job as a photocopy machine operator in a stationery store. At home with his catatonic mother, Andre draws cartoons and dreams of selling his illustrations; at his window, he uses a pair of binoculars to spy on Sílvia (Leandra Leal), a young woman in a nearby apartment. At work, Andre photocopies other people's books, catching a line here and there, and schemes to win Sílvia's heart. His main obstacle? Poverty. But when a state-of-the-art color photocopier arrives at the store, Andre hatches a counterfeiting scheme. In the final half hour, the film changes genre, switching from carefully observed, finely wrought cinema verite to something more like an action flick, which is a mistake. But that first hour makes The Man Who Copied well worth seeing.

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The Man Who Copied

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