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Ornithologist (The)

Portugal, Portuguese, 117 mins

Original Title

O Ornitólogo
  • Director: João Pedro Rodrigues
  • Writer: João Pedro Rodrigues
  • Producer: João Figueiras; Gustavo Angel Olaya

CGiii Comment

After - for what seems a life-time - of nothingness (apart from some splendid cinematography)...the beefy 'hero' of the piece gets into a pickle with his canoe and is washed up on the riverbank only to be found - in the middle-of-nowhere - by two psychotic, bible-bashing Chinese christian women...they intricately tie him up - in the standing position, wearing only a pair of pristine tighty-whities - they plan to castrate him the following day...good old [badly-acted] christians!

Miraculously, our 'hero' finds his inner Houdini and manages to escape...and flees into the spooky, spirit-filled wilderness.

Our review sofa were in agreement...we would have bashed the bitches - in their hermetically sealed tent - with a frying pan.

After more nothingness (and some splendid cinematography), he bumps into a troupe of failed Cirque Soleil performers...he gets peed upon!

Shortly afterwards [phew], he meets a deaf, teat-sucking goat-herder...and, of course, he immediately goes skinny-dipping! They bonk - naturally - but, alas, this little encounter doesn't end well!

Gawd...if this film wasn't so boring, it would be exhausting!

The rest...as they say is all rather discombobulating...especially when all the stuffed animals start to appear!


Considering this is - practically - a one-man show, the actor displays neither panache nor charisma. The cacophonous soundtrack was - quite literally - composed and played upon...a rusty old contraption used - primarily - for torture.

Call it art. Call it intriguing...call it what you will...but, in the end, it all boils down to convoluted, concocted, contrived claptrap...with some rather splendid cinematography!


The(ir) Blurb...

Fernando, a solitary ornithologist, is looking for endangered black storks along a remote river in northern Portugal, when he is swept away by the rapids. Rescued by a couple of Chinese pilgrim girls on their way to Santiago de Compostela, he plunges into a dark, eerie forest, trying to get back on track. But as he encounters unexpected and uncanny obstacles and people who put him to the test, Fernando is driven to extreme, transformative actions. Gradually he becomes a different man: inspired, multifaceted, and finally enlightened.

Cast & Characters

Joao Pedro Rodrigues;
Paul Hamy as Fernando;
Chan Suan as Ling;
Xelo Cagiao;
Juliane Elting;
Isabelle Puntel;
Flora Bulcao

From the same director:

Happy Birthday King's Body (The) Last Time I Saw Macao (The) O Fantasma To Die Like a Man Two Drifters

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