Release Date: April 20th, 2007 (Quad Cinema) by ArtMattan Productions.
The Cast: Mathias Acuña, Jorge Esmoris, Marco Da Costa, Washington “Canario” Luna, Marcel Keoroglian, Carmen Abella.
Directed by Leonardo Ricagni.
In Spanish with subtitles.
BASIC PREMISE: During a carnival in Uruguay, Obdulio (Acuña), an 11-year-old Afro-Uruguayan, befriends Barrilete (Esmoris), a night watchman at a newspaper factory, who teaches him how to read.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: Goodbye Momo could have been much more absorbing with a more focused plot, interesting characters and less contrivance. Obdulio lives with his grandma and sells newspapers on the street daily. His only dream is to become a famous soccer player, but everyone, including his grandma, reminds him that he needs an education first—or at least to learn how to read. When a 40-day carnival begins, he meets, Barrilete, a quirky night watchman at the newspaper factory, who quickly becomes his mentor. He teaches him how to read and write lyrics for one of the carnival groups known as the Murgas. The scenes showing the Murgas interacting and performing feel rather bizarre and creepy. Unfortunately, writer/director Leonardo Ricagni fails to bring any of the characters to life because he doesn’t flesh them out enough. Too many scenes in the second act either come across corny. His obvious nods to Fellini seem distracting and awkward. It would have been helpful to include more dramatic scenes between Obdulio and his best friend, Rosito (Da Costa) as well as with his grandma. The relationship between Obdulio and Barrilete eventually becomes tedious and contrived. On a positive note, they have great chemistry together thanks the convincing lively performance by Jorge Esmoris as Barrilete and the charming performance by the adorable Mathias Acuña as Obdulio.
SPIRITUAL VALUE: Not only is it important to have education, but you have to also believe in yourself and make an effort to open your mind, especially at a young age. Everyone needs a mentor to some degree. Obdulio will always cherish his experiences with Barrilete who has given him a thirst for knowledge which will help him out in the long run.
INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: Awkward, contrived and occasionally corny.
NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 3
IN A NUTSHELL: Charming and lively performances, but with an awkward and contrived plot that occasionally feels corny.
RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: DVD
The "G" Menu