The Other Side Of The Street

CENTRAL STATION cowriter Marcos Bernstein's directing debut is an arthritic REAR WINDOW-style thriller that's neither very Hitchcockian nor particularly thrilling. Cantankerous Regina (CENTRAL STATION's Fernanda Montenegro) is one elderly divorcée who has no intention of growing old quietly. Thumbing her nose at the old folks who waste their days playing...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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CENTRAL STATION cowriter Marcos Bernstein's directing debut is an arthritic REAR WINDOW-style thriller that's neither very Hitchcockian nor particularly thrilling. Cantankerous Regina (CENTRAL STATION's Fernanda Montenegro) is one elderly divorcée who has no intention of growing old quietly. Thumbing her nose at the old folks who waste their days playing dominos in Rio de Janeiro's leafy parks, Regina insists on doing something useful with her time and takes full advantage of a police program that recruits snoopy senior citizens to report suspicious behavior in their neighborhood. Regina, who's convinced that the police are too incompetent and the citizenry too apathetic to stem the tide of Rio's rising crime wave, takes it one step further. She goes undercover, even pulling on a pair of leather pants to help blow the cover on a child-prostitution ring operating out of a Copacabana disco. When she's not out fighting crime or walking her aged dog, Regina — code-named "Snow White" by her police contact, Officer Alcides (Luis Carlos Persy) — watches everything going on in the apartment complex across the street. One night Regina spies something very suspicious through her binoculars: an older gentleman injecting something into a woman's arm and, minutes later, pulling the sheet over the motionless woman's head. Regina immediately calls the police, but when she contacts the station the following day she's surprised to learn that Officer Alcides has kicked her off the "force." Her shady neighbor is none other than Judge Camargo (Raul Cortez), a minister of justice and apparently a citizen above suspicion, and Alcides advises Snow White to put her own house in order. Frankly, her house could use it: Regina's acrimonious divorce from her ex-husband, who lives with her son, means that she's estranged from most of her family, including her grandson. Undeterred, Regina decides to investigate on her own and starts shadowing Camargo. When she inadvertently catches his attention by foiling a bank robbery, Regina finds that she's the one being pursued — by her not entirely unattractive suspect. This poky and indifferently plotted film isn't much of mystery: Things wind up exactly where you think they're going from the start, and Bernstein takes his sweet time getting them there. Regina, who's determined to grow old with guts rather than grace, is quite a character and has a number of nicely underplayed moments — would that she were putting her golden years to better use.

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  • Released: 2004
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: CENTRAL STATION cowriter Marcos Bernstein's directing debut is an arthritic REAR WINDOW-style thriller that's neither very Hitchcockian nor particularly thrilling. Cantankerous Regina (CENTRAL STATION's Fernanda Montenegro) is one elderly divorcée who has… (more)

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