The Man Who Copied
|The Man Who Copied
(O Homem que Copiava)
|Directed by||Jorge Furtado|
|Written by||Jorge Furtado|
|Edited by||Giba Assis Brasil|
|Distributed by||Columbia TriStar
|Running time||123 min.|
|Box office||R$ 4.692.436,00|
The Man Who Copied, though a comedy, is a comedy driven by crime, taking the form of a "how-to" guide for social mobility. Despite the crime involved in the film, it still has the feel of a lighthearted romantic comedy (which is a relatively new genre in Brazilian film and television, introduced in the 1990s by the American and British film and television industries).
The film won eleven awards, including Best Picture from the São Paulo Association of Art Critics Award in 2004. The 2003 release date helped the film gain momentum, as for from the 1990s to the early 2000s, Brazilian films began getting more competitive in both the national and international market (especially with the release of City of God (2002 film)).
The Man Who Copied follows André Maciel’s foray into crime in order to woo his neighbor, Sílvia. Andre works as a photocopy machine operator in a convenience store, though he dreams of being an illustrator. After André returns home from work, he spends time in his room drawing or spying on Sílvia (who lives in an apartment across the street) with binoculars. One morning, André wakes up early to follow Sílvia to work.
André finds that Sílvia works at a lingerie store, coincidentally called ‘Sílvia’s.” Once he follows Sílvia inside the store, he realizes he needs an excuse to be in there, and tells Sílvia that he is looking for a birthday gift for his mother. Sílvia suggests that he buy a robe that costs R$38. However, André cannot afford this, and he promises Sílvia that he will return and buy it later.
In order to pay for the robe, André begins to counterfeit money by photocopying bank notes at his job. André fears getting Sílvia in trouble by using the counterfeit note to pay for the robe, so André begins playing in the lottery to exchange the fake bills for real bills. One of these times, André plays the sequence of numbers ‘1 2 3 4 5 6.’ Cardoso (André’s friend who is in pursuit of Marinês, André’s very attractive female co-worker) mocks André for playing that sequence of numbers, because he says it’ll never win.
A relationship blossoms between André and Sílvia, and eventually, André asks for her hand in marriage. Sílvia says yes, however, André tells her that they cannot get married right away; André feels as though he needs more money in order to provide for Sílvia – more money than he can get from counterfeiting.
André hatches a plan to pull a bank heist, but his plan gets increasingly complicated as more people become involved. Initially, the plan involves only André and Cardoso, however, Feitosa (André’s petty drug dealing acquaintance) and Antunes (Sílvia’s alleged father) get involved. However, the complications result from the heist being successful. However, the day after the heist is pulled, André wins the lottery. After this, the heist becomes complicated, leading to André, Sílvia, Cardoso, and Marinês setting up Feitosa and Antunes’ deaths.
The film ends with the four friends at the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, where Sílvia meets the man she believes is her father (Paulo). 
Social Mobility/Wealth The Man Who Copied deals the hierarchy in Brazilian society based on material wealth and what it takes to move up. André’s voice over throughout the film turns The Man Who Copied into an ironic manual for social mobility, but it also is a classic Furtado stylistic move used to create intimacy with the characters. Hearing André’s story through the voice over helps the audience sympathize with him despite the numerous crimes he and his friends commit. The voice over helps the audience understand the factors that drive André to commit crimes in order to achieve wealth and climb the social hierarchy, because his voice overs reveal that he has good, non-greedy intentions.
Luck Furtado illuminates that the characters in The Man Who Copied (who are all lower-middle class Brazilians working mundane jobs) have as much depth as the audience of this film (presumably middle to upper-middle class audiences). Furtado displays that wealth of any kind is most often due to luck (whether it be the family one was born into or a lottery prize) through many of the events impacting André. The first display of luck for André is the R$50 note his boss gives him, followed by the coincidence of the note being given to him the same day as his shop gets a color printer, his winning the lottery, and the fact that Sílvia was also pursuing him secretly as he pursued her. With this, Furtado makes to social commentary that our spot in the social hierarchy is based on luck.
- Currency (film), an Indian Malayalam film loosely based on The Man Who Copied
- O HOMEM QUE COPIAVA (The Man who copied) | Casa de Cinema de Porto Alegre