Summary: Lost in Fuseta is a 2017 crime-drama-thriller film directed by Finnish director Klaus Haro. The movie is based on the novel of the same name written by Correia da Silva and is set in the town of Fuseta in Portugal. The story follows Inspector Joao Ricciardi as he investigates the murder of a young girl in the town. Alongside this, he battles his own personal demons.
1. The setting of Fuseta
The movie primarily takes place in the town of Fuseta, situated in the Eastern Algarve region of Portugal. Fuseta is a small fishing village that boasts beautiful beaches, picturesque houses, and a calm, laidback way of life. The movie manages to capture the serene beauty of the town, with its long, winding roads and beachfront cafes.
Harsh also portrays the town’s dark underbelly, with abandoned buildings, shoddy alleyways, and a palpable sense of danger lurking around every corner. This contrast between beauty and violence adds depth to the film, making it more than just a simple murder mystery but a portrayal of a town in turmoil.
Furthermore, the movie features local landmarks like the Ria Formosa Natural Park, which is a protected lagoon ecosystem known for its rich flora and fauna. The setting of the movie also highlights the differences between the bustling city of Lisbon and the slow-paced, rural life of Fuseta.
2. The characters and their stories
Lost in Fuseta features an ensemble cast of characters, with each of them bringing their unique perspectives to the story. Inspector Joao Ricciardi, played by Jacinto Ramos, is the primary protagonist, and he is joined by the young and idealistic officer Sara Dias, played by Sara Barros Leitao.
Their dynamic forms the crux of the movie, with Ricciardi being an experienced, jaded cop who has seen too much violence and Sara being the fresh-faced rookie eager to please but with naïve ideas about how the justice system works.
The movie also features many memorable minor characters like Rafael Loureiro, the mafia boss who funds Ricciardi’s investigation, and Professor Antero Pais, the obsessed academic who is convinced he can solve the case. Each character has their unique motivations and quirks that make them stand out in this crowded crime drama.
3. The thematic elements
Lost in Fuseta explores many themes throughout its runtime, chief among them being guilt and redemption. As Ricciardi investigates the murder case, he finds himself confronted with his past mistakes and failures. These moments of introspection add emotional depth to the character and make him more relatable to the audience.
Another central theme of the movie is corruption and its far-reaching impact on society. The corrupt officials and gangsters in the movie do not hesitate to exploit the system for their benefit, and this ultimately leads to more bloodshed and devastation.
The film also deals with the notion of justice and how it’s not always straightforward. Throughout the movie, we see different people trying to take justice into their own hands, whether it’s the mafia trying to punish the perpetrators or the academic trying to solve the case without police intervention. These moral ambiguities add layers to the movie and make it a more engaging watch.
4. The cinematography and direction
Klaus Haro brings a distinct visual style to the movie, with long takes and slow pans that give the film a deliberate pace. The camera work also highlights the beautiful setting of Fuseta, capturing both the tranquility and the danger that permeates through the town.
The director manages to make the most out of the limited budget and resources at his disposal, and the final product speaks to his talent as a filmmaker. The decision to shoot on location in Portugal adds an extra layer of authenticity to the movie and makes it more immersive for the audience.
The score also deserves commendation, with its haunting melodies and powerful crescendos amplifying the emotions of the characters and driving home the film’s themes.
Lost in Fuseta is an engaging crime drama that manages to transcend its genre roots. The film’s lush setting and memorable characters complement the well-written script and elevate the movie to something more profound. The themes explored are universal, and the movie is accessible to non-Portuguese speaking audiences. Klaus Haro’s confident direction and beautiful cinematography make this underseen gem of a movie worth watching.