Tuesday, February 23, 2021

My Darling Supermarket Review: What's It Like In A Supermarket In Brazil?

By Jonathan Bilski
G-d damn, I love these good looking docs. My Darling Supermarket directed by Ms. Tali Yankelevich has us peering in on different employees in a super market in São Paulo, Brazil. And it's just delightful to look at. We connect with a few of the employees, learning a little bit more about them and possibly get lost in their own specific thoughts and lives. One of course, holds a high interest as we have an otaku in the bunch and the captured conversation on comparing Goku to Jesus was hilarious. The movie is as deep as the dip into the employees we briefly get to know.

As soon as you see the supermarket being built, you may ponder, "What I'm I about to see." You might go, "This is weird." You're going to see a an all too brief look at different employees working at supermarket that could well just be next to you. It's bright, it's colorful, when the director wants it to be. Everything is shot to make it almost like an ad to come and visit the place. We see the process of how things are done, put away, but we don't ever really get sense of the supermarket being an extra character. I don't believe anyone even names it in the film. The supermarket is where we stay throughout the whole film, but it almost seems like just a nice backdrop to anywhere for these characters. And, it's  a bit more brighter than it's American counter-part with more colors and brighter shopping carts. Red and blue carts anyone?

What person will be your favorite character? Rodrigo in the bakery? Who discusses the Heisenberg principle and quantum physics who doesn't seem to know the girl he works with kind of likes him. 


The little lady in a dark room, behind a desk, monitoring all the cameras in the store? She looks like a perv almost spying on everyone. Calling over faceless staff via a walk-talkie if it looks like a customer stole something. 

Maybe the man at checkout? Who might flirt with a customer and get their number. Or may have had a really bad breakdown at some point.

Or are you ready for Ivan? This character doesn't come off as an otaku (fan of Japanese culture) at first, he seems like an average guy. However, when he asks another employee of why not trying to emulate Goku from Dragon Ball and be more like him; a hero if you will. And  how Goku could be considered to be praised more like G-d. His friend rebuffs him saying Goku is just looking for a better fight. And it the debate goes on. Even if not a fan of  anime, it is funny as Hell to see an anime debate where one person could care less. For those who do know Dragon Ball Super and what the Hell they are talking about-such as myself-it's even funnier. Ivan gets knocked in his place with his friend not giving him an inch on the matter. And it will put a smile on your face.

So, that's the thing the characters are all real. There real people and were just getting a small portion of their lives. We go through some tougher topics than just anime like love, death and anxieties they and us share , but you really feel these people. All while looking at a lovely little market.

The only complaint, if any, was the lack of connection between the people we meet. Possibly any connection to the place itself. The women watching the store on monitors and the man at checkout never interact. There's no sitcom-like togetherness in the store. They all work at the supermarket, but it's like they're in there own little worlds. It's just a place, made to look nice for this film, but it doesn't even seem to be part of the identities of the characters, except the lady who likes to watch everyone. Perhaps, that's just how it is or that how the directed wanted it.

It just flowed though, beautifully cut. We go in and out of different people's lives, getting a few inner thoughts, a few ideas with a lovely backdrop of this supermarket and then you might spot that strange cosplayer in the store.

Watch it virtually online via Laemmle's starting Friday, Feb 26