Movie Review - Nirvana - A Portuguese Revenge Heist



After a successful theatrical run in Portugal, international commercial and music video director Tiago P. de Carvalho’s freshman feature, Nirvana,  screened for the first time in front of a US audience at the Action On Film Festival last September.  His nomination was a happy surprise for Carvalho, who overcame a lot of obstacles to make the film in a country with almost no movie industry or film funding.


Carvalho’s comic crime thriller, about a down-and-out, sex addicted crook who tries to get revenge on his former boss after he flubs a deal.  After all, what's more important - getting the stolen jewels or having a good fuck?  His life becomes problematic when another crook is hired to kill him, but doesn't succeed and our crook attempts to retrieve the jewels stolen from yet another mobster in a complicated heist. 



“Making a movie on a micro-budget was a total nightmare, mostly because it wasn't a micro-production. There’s a huge amount of different locations, gunfights, car chases, and a big main cast. Shooting had to stop for six months because one of the main actors simply disappeared!” Carvalho says that production was almost shut down again during the several-day filming of a car chase: “We were stopped by a police patrol car. When we popped the trunk to show identification, it was full of weapons, and the cops immediately pushed the guys that were closest to them against the car. After the cops checked and saw the guns were all replicas, they let us go…. Just keepin’ it gangster style.”


The movie, subtitled in English, has several time shifts so the viewer needs to be aware of this while watching.  While the acting was good and the photography excellent, one doesn't really care for the bumbling Vega and his sidekick Bubalu.  However, those who like action films, especially with a lot of sex and violence, will probably like this. 


Nirvana's director Tiago P. de Carvalho photo by Jony Lamps

After a wide release through Portugal’s largest distributor,Nirvana was nominated for the Portuguese Film Academy’s prestigious Sophia Award for Best Original Song, which Carvalho and his band performed during the award ceremony on national TV.


Carvalho is currently shooting his current project, a feature-length documentary in the Azores.


 For US fans, Nirvana is available on Amazon and Amazon Prime, and is scheduled for release on Cable VOD in December.


The film’s US distributor is L.A.-based Leomark Studios.



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