Carlota Joaquina, Princess of Brazil

Film
This first feature is like an historically accurate Carry On without the camp. In 1785, Carlota (Severo) is married, aged ten, to Portugal's Prince João (Nanini), later Dom João VI. Come 1808 and the Napoleonic invasion, and the Portuguese court relocates to Brazil, its largest colony, at the scheming behest of their English allies, where it remains until 1821. Dom João is a docile, bumbling, sometime idiot who just about manages to run a kingdom; Carlota whiles away her hours having numerous men and babies. The aim may be bawdy comedy, but it ain't funny. All this would be fairly inoffensive, but for the film's flashback structure. In an apparent sop to the international market, the tale is narrated in stultifyingly drawn-out English to a ten-year-old on a Scottish beach: 'She had lots of lovers. L-o-t-s of them. And she could eat any one of them like a crazy animal.'

By: NB

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