Cobra Verde Reviews
"Cobra Verde" has a more complex story than "Aguirre" and "Fitzcarraldo," despite having a similar plot about a driven fanatic undertaking a seemingly impossible mission. Kinski plays the title character, a roaming South American bandit who takes a job at a sugar plantation, only to fall out of favor after he impregnates the boss's daughters. As a result, he is pressed to sail overseas to barter slaves from Dahomey. It is expected that he will not return alive. Settling down in Africa, he becomes embroiled in a conflict between two rival kingdoms, and his original objective fades away in the chaos.
Kinski's performance is a bit erratic -- sometimes he's a man of sullen intimidation, other times he's the feral lunatic we expect -- and Herzog fails to get inside his head, instead seeming more interested in choreographing large crowd scenes. The rites and costumes of the natives *are* fascinating, but the illusion is punctured when they speak to Kinski in perfect German. Even Popol Vuh's droning soundtrack seems indifferent next to the group's masterful work on earlier Herzog projects.
The film's quirkier virtues include a goat receiving communion and a tribal girl's choir so shockingly charismatic that one wonders why they didn't follow Ladysmith Black Mambazo to international success. Hey, they even worked topless.
The story here is confusing at times but story is usually second only to Herzogs visual storytelling abilities. A second veiwing is definaly a must for me to fully grasp all the events that took place. Cobra Verde is shocking at times and there are some incredibly strong images of captive slaves that haunt you long after the film has ended. This is a definate recommendation for anyone who appreciates these two guys work together.And for those that dont, i must really suck to be you.
A partir de lĂ et bien hĂ (C)las le film est foutu, toute sa grandeur, toute sa noblesse sâ(TM)effondrent Ă chaque rĂ (C)plique doublĂ (C)e Ă lâ(TM)arrache, sans Ă˘me, sans rien de ce qui fait que je vĂ (C)nĂ¨re Klaus Kinski. Pourtant on avait bien envie de sâ(TM)intĂ (C)resser Ă lâ(TM)histoire de ce brigand nĂ (C)grier qui chamboule tout sur son passage, entrainant le dĂ (C)shonneur des jeunes femmes et la chute de royaumes. Et pourtant Herzog nous dĂ (C)livre ses scĂ¨nes superbes et fortes oĂą il arrive aussi bien Ă capter la puissance du jeu de Kinski quâ(TM)Ă livrer un regard tenant presque du documentaire qui renforce le rĂ (C)alisme du film. Mais hĂ (C)las Cobra Verde est dĂ (C)finitivement chĂ˘trĂ (C) par son doublage impardonnable.