Brazilian Film and Lit
July 25, 2012
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands:
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands, is a film which is based on a novel by Jorge Amando and was directed by Bruno Barreto. The movie is a seemingly innocuous comedy on aspects of Brazilian life and customs. In essence, the main character, Dona Flor, is a gentle, warm, beautiful woman who falls in love with two completely different types of men. Because of how she was brought up, she is a shy, obedient, respectable, church-going woman who was well known in her society. In a sense, she fit the typical role of a woman in the time period that she was brought up in that she never emphasized herself in making demands, always tolerated relentless abuse just because she loved her husband, and was always passive about everything. Thus, she never failed to be victimized by men. Moreover, her story throughout the plot of the movie can be broken down into two sections, each with a different husband. The first half of the movie was with her husband Valdinho who was a pervert, womanizer, compulsive gambler and a drunkard. The second half of the movie was her with second husband, Teodoro who was respectable, orderly, cultured, and very intellectual. In fact, her second husband was ideal to a woman in that time period. However, the conflict in the movie arises when we find that Dona Flor is attracted to both types of men. Throughout the film, we see that Dona Flor’s character changes drastically between her two husbands. With Flor’s first husband, Valdinho, who was a complete womanizer and selfish drunkard she behaved completely different than she does with her second husband. Valdinho would wander out at nights, gamble, sleep around with woman, and hardly came home to his wife, sometimes several days at a time. In addition, he would steal Flor’s money from her savings when he needed cash to gamble and if she refused to give it to him, Valdinho would beat her and take it by force. However, aside from his excuses and philanderings, Valdinho proved to be excellent in bed which, in my opinion, kept them together. He would try to make her feel more secure when he stated things like “Your breasts taste like avocado” (Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands). Nonetheless, Valdinho dies at a very young because of his corrupt behavior and debauched lifestyle. Flor takes his sudden and untimely death very seriously and spends much time grieving.
Upon the death of Valdinho, brings us to the second phase of the movie. After several weeks of grieving the death of her husband, Flor remarries to a man named Teodoro. Unlike Valdinho, Teodoro is the complete opposite. He is polite, kind, considerate, monogamous, and an overall ideal husband to a woman like Flor. However, one major thing that Teodoro lacked was the ability to please Flor sexually in bed. Because of this Flor wishes that Valdinho was still alive and in response to her wish, he comes back from the dead and approaches Flor in her bedroom. She refuses every attempt Valdinho makes to seduce her however, it is quite evident that she called him back for that sole purpose. From this we can infer that although Teodoro might be the man that any woman, including Flor, would want as their husband, Flor wanted a man that can be respectable in public and a wild animal in bed. In essence, this is the exact reason why she wished for Valdinho to come back to life, so that she can have sex with him. From this we can see that her character has developed drastically. We see her true colors and what she really wants from her husbands. Although she does like Teodoro’s character and personality as he was an ideal husband for the era in which the movie took place, she did not enjoy her alone time with her husband as he did not physically satisfy her. Thus she made a wish to have Valdinho back from the dead so that she can use him for sex. This shows Dona Flor’s true character. She wanted an ideal...
Cited: Central Station. Dir. Walter Salles. Perf. Fernanda Montenegro, Vinícius De Oliveira and
Marília Pêra. 1998. Film.
Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands. Dir. Bruno Barreto. Perf. Sonia Braga and José Wilker and
Mauro Mendonça. Carnaval Film, Inc., 1978. DVD.
Hatoum, Milton, and John Gledson. The Brothers. New York: Farar, Straus and Giroux, 2002.
Ribeiro, Edgard Telles. I Would Have Loved Him If I Had Not Killed Him. New York: Wyatt
Book for St. Martin 's, 1994. Print.
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