Made almost 50 years ago, O Bem-Amado (1973) is the perfect portrait of Brazil today. The plot tells the story of the corrupt politician Odorico Paraguaçu (Paulo Gracindo) and his unorthodox strategies to maintain his post as mayor of the city of Sucupira, on the coast of Bahia.
Almost as if it were a prediction of what the Brazilian would face in the following years, the booklet is guided by the history of the ruler and his populist attempts to be well liked by the population.
The politician creates the slogan “Vote for a serious man and win a cemetery” to be elected to the highest executive position in the city. The strategy works, and he gains the trust of the people by ensuring that everyone will have access to housing worthy of eternal comfort.
However, no one dies, and the character of Paulo Gracindo [1911-1995] he needs a dead person to appear to inaugurate his extraordinary work. The demagogue then decides to hire hired killer Zeca Diabo (Lima Duarte) to do the job. However, the murderer wants to redeem himself for his crimes and refuses to do evil to others again.
Mother Dináh of dramaturgy?
Like many politicians in 2021, Odorico Paraguaçu is surrounded by a retinue of followers. Among them are the three sisters Cajazeiras: Dorotéia (Ida Gomes), Dulcinéia (Dorinha Duval) and Judicéia (Dirce Migliaccio).
Conservative to the outside world, the three women are actually sexually repressed and live a torrid romance with the protagonist within the four walls of the house. Of course, the characters do not know that the politician deceives the trio and, separately, stays with each one of them.
Odorico Paraguaçu also has a lot of friction with the Sucupira press due to his temperamental way of controlling the city. The demagogue is often seen in obstacles with the journalist Neco Pedreira (Carlos Eduardo Dolabella), owner of the city newspaper A Trombeta.
Disregard for the epidemic
Although the new coronavirus (Covid-19) did not exist in the 1970s, O Bem-Amado portrayed an epidemic in fiction. The city of Sucupira becomes the target of a wave of typhus and, focused on his strategy of letting someone die on the spot to open the cemetery, Odorico turns a blind eye to vaccinate everyone.
In a famous scene in the serial, Secretary Dirceu Borboleta (Emiliano Queiroz) refuses to help the mayor in his plan to get rid of vaccines and medicines to fight the disease. In the register, he points out: “If you prevent vaccines and medications from reaching Dr. Leão’s hand [Jardel Filho], he will not be able to prevent the epidemic “.
But, thinking only of his own good, the politician releases the famous phrase: “So what?”. With this, he shows that, despite having been elected by the people, he only thinks of himself to consolidate himself as a good ruler and that, perhaps, he can take higher flights.
Available on Globoplay since last Monday (15), the public can check the similarities between real life and Dias Gomes’ show. The streaming launch of the first color-engraved soap opera is part of Globo’s campaign to rescue the classics of dramaturgy.