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Man Of The Year Review

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When he's taunted as a 'fag' after dyeing his hair blond, Maiquel's Brazilian machismo kicks into overdrive and he shoots his tormentor, street punk Suel, dead. But rather than falling foul of the law, Mayquel is treated as a local hero...

★★★★

The era, setting and narrative pace are different from City Of God, but Man Of The Year is powered by the same dilemmas: the lure of violence and the respect that Brazil's teenagers can earn by living and dying by the gun.

This film, however, soaks the realism of its story in a very black humour while widening its narrow-focus world out into neon-washed widescreen images.

Looking like Sick Boy in Trainspotting, peroxide-topped Mayquel undergoes an existential transformation when he shoots down unpopular tough guy Suel.

He is what he does - and what he does now is kill people. Hence his new-found career as a vigilante assassin, a role that fills him with a confidence he has never felt before.

Trapped by fate, Mayquel's violent life seems ready to implode. And yet the darkness is countered by the film's surprisingly strong emotional angle, as Mayquel finds himself falling in love with his first victim's young girlfriend.

This year's second-best Brazilian street-crime movie after City Of God. And that's high praise indeed.