Central Station (1998) – The Journey Starts

Central Station, World Cinema

Everyone says life is beautiful yet most of us live a miserable life. Think the beginning of this article is a bad start. Believe ‘Central do Brasil’, this Brazilian Cinema is a feel good Drama packed with a good dose of emotions. Well, about the first line of this article, both of the thoughts are just two states of mind. Reality lies somewhere between them.

The movie pivots around two people Dora, a middle aged, retired school teacher and a boy named Josué. Central do Brasil is the central railway station of Rio de Janeiro. Dora scribes letters for illiterates, to make her ends meet. The opening sequences quickly show the life in Brazil, the largest of the third world countries.

Dora sets up her table every day in the station, writes for different kinds of people, all illiterates. Though she writes the letters as dictated by her customers she decides to post them at will. Back in her apartments, Irene, a woman of her age, joins with her. This spinster duo read the letters entertain them and trash some.

One day a woman, Ana, wants Dora to write a letter to her estranged husband, a drunkard named Jesus. Accompanying her is her son Josué. Back in home while Dora decides to throw it, Irene stops her from trashing it for she wishes this would help the reunion of the son with his father. It eventually finds its place in Dora’s drawer, sleeping.

Next day Ana comes back request Dora to write a new letter and not to post the previous one. On her way back she is ran over by a bus leaving Josué a near orphan. The boy gets stranded in the station, nowhere to go. The next day she finds him still loitering around, pities him and take him home.

Central Station, World Cinema

She is self centered and never has anything for the boy beyond pity. Next day she leaves the boy to an adaptation home, believing that it’s the best thing she could do to the boy. The $1000 reward she receives for it turns into a new television set. Back in home Irene rebukes her and warns her that such places are human organ trafficking centers in reality. A pang of remorse bites Dora’s conscience deep and hard, she loses her sleep to thoughts.

Next morning she braves to get back to the place and almost stages a kidnap to rescue Josué. This puts her in deep trouble for sure the man who rewarded with money will be after her. She accompanies with Josué in pursuit of finding his father. From now on the drama turns into a beautiful road movie.

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