Film Review: Paulo Coelho’s Best Story

Spirituality & Health Magazine
reviewed by Bilge Ebiri

Paulo Coelho’s Best Story
Directed by Daniel Augusto

This biopic about the internationally best-selling writer of The Alchemist isn’t quite the hagiography you might expect. Based on Coelho’s own memoirs, it tells of the writer’s troubled, lifelong journey—from his rebellious youth, with stints in mental institutions, through his grown-up years, aimlessly checking out and looking for some kind of connection to the world. As presented here, Coelho always wanted to write, but it took him a long time to accumulate the kind of life experiences and wide, all-encompassing worldview that gave him the clarity to produce good work and connect with readers of all stripes. The man we see here is troubled, but curious: His journey is marked by moments of spirituality and transcendence. It’s an admiring view of Coelho, to be sure, but a complicated one.  Stylistically, director Daniel Augusto keeps the episodic story moving at a fair clip, though one often wishes that this eclectic man’s life had gotten a more experimental, bolder approach. (One wonders what a visionary filmmaker like Alejandro Jodorowsky, director of El Topo and The Holy Mountain, might have done with this material.) Still, for any fans of Coelho, this is a must. 

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Film Reviews

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