‘Rich in Love’ is a romantic comedy that brings together the different worlds of its central characters, Teto (Danilo Mesquita) and Paula (Giovanna Lancellotti). The narrative brings together not only its central characters but also others who wouldn’t have met otherwise. As the film unveils itself, the plot is made intense with Teto telling Paula that he is poor, while, in reality, he is the son of a wealthy businessman. More so, a playboy till his eyes falls on Paula. The characters evolve, and the film focuses on positive transformations.
Is Rich in Love a True Story?
No, ‘Rich in Love’ is not based on a true story. It is a Brazilian romantic drama that also roots itself in comedy. The film is about the accidental meeting of two people from different social and economic backgrounds, who then fall in love. Though based in fiction, some of its themes extend to reality.
The film focuses on the social differences of its characters, and a careful look at it will reveal the reality it reflects even though the prime focus is elsewhere. For instance, though Teto is rich, he has to act like he is struggling financially in front of Paula. Teto, who as never known poverty is forced to stay in a dingy, unpainted room in the hotel he was staying at, to spend time with Paula. Though we may laugh at the irony of him sleeping there and the shabby room’s owner sleeping in Teto’s actual luxury suite, we are forced to confront that it is his daily reality.
Though Paula doesn’t mind the room, Teto certainly does, but the only reason he can’t say anything is because he is lying. Teto’s best friend Igor, is the son of the house help who takes care of Teto like her own son. Though he lives with his mother in the mansion, Igor is used to working hard based on the callousness of his hands, as observed by Alana. Though these are very minor facts, aimed for comical relief, any film that draws the rich-poor binary will knowingly or unknowingly bring into focus the differences in their lives.
In the film, Teto sets out to seek the help of Monique. Teto, due to the privilege of his birth, has never been in a crowded residential area that sometimes looks shady. As a result, he initially believes he is lost while trying to find Monique’s house. He then learns the truth of where Monique lives, which then also reveals her economic status in the community. Living in a ‘favela,’ she is broke, having lost her job. Her sister is constantly sick going into seizures. Monique is, then, not only responsible for her ill sister but also her sister’s son. Teto, thus, gets his first glimpse of life in a favela.
In Brazil, a favela is a middle to low-income housing area wherein inhabitants do not adhere to strict housing guidelines. Favelas are also reputed for the kind of illegal trade and activities that occur within them bordering many times on violence. Though this dark side is not shown in the film, one can pretty much guess the kind of life one may lead here. In an instance, in the film, the cab driver refuses to go further into the favela because it is not safe. Though the film leaves it at that, it’s still food for thought. In this sense, the film illuminates such social issues in its background.
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