“Chronicle of the Good Trickster”: The famous thieves are back in the new RTP series
The work of Mário Zambujal, already a classic, gains another life in the new series from RTP.
The original work is by Mário Zambujal.
It’s been 40 years. The book didn’t need much pomp when it was published. It was simply great read – with humor, suspense and something touching in this group of seven crooks, outsiders of life, who were planning “the greatest attack of the century”.
The “Chronicle of the Good Tricksters” has never left the shelves since 1980, with successive new editions. It even deserved a film of the same name, released by Fernando Lopes in 1984 and having names like João Perry, Maria do Céu Guerra, and Nicolau Breyner, among others.
We are in 2020 and the series format is increasingly a bet. There is more time to develop the story and all over the world we have more and more talent from the cinema to show off on the small screen. Furthermore, with a book with a structure that would allow any thief to shine in the chapter itself, there was something that could work on television.
This Wednesday December 2nd we will finally see the work in series mode, in an adaptation by Jorge Paixão da Costa, who had the script by Mário Botequilha and the help of Mário Zambujal, who was 84 years old, there is always good stories to tell about these clumsy crooks.
The group “Crónica dos Band Malandros” has neither the charm of the robbers from “Ocean’s Eleven” nor the raw and careful preparation of the overalls from “La Casa de Papel”. Its charm that fascinates us is precisely its ill-matched shape, based on some very Portuguese features.
The group of thieves is very diverse: they have their smart chico, the eloquent and cerebral type, the most fatherly figure, the clumsy animal, the intelligent girl (with welcome clichés of a new Portuguese woman), the naive girl and the pacifist leader. They are kinder than unscrupulous people, more clumsy than criminals. And they all have a past that has something human about it (even if it’s a little absurd) due to the work of Mário Zambujal.
Portugal left the dictatorship of Estado Novo and the colonial war six years ago in the early 1980s, but it took six years to join the European Union. There was more freedom than a single highway in the country, a young democracy and our eternal side. The city tour also had something rural about it. We also found a little of this new Portugal at work.
Marco Delgado, Maria João Bastos, Rui Unas, Joana Pais de Brito, Manuel Marques, Adriano Carvalho and José Raposo are the group that now has such a heist of the century on television. It is a safe cast for a crime whose victim is a jewelry collection at Gulbenkian.
The humor of the original work has never aged. It is “timeless”, as the director himself said of “Diário de Notícias”. “There are rascals everywhere,” added Jorge Paixão da Costa. However, besides their humorous side, these are always close to a tragedy. Each of them knew in their own way the risk and the bad side of life. It is also this balance that makes them human. They are flawed people, not cartoons.
The series arrives at RTP this Tuesday at 9 p.m. (will also run on RTP Play). There are eight episodes with an added nostalgia for the 80s, but most of all it represents a special place in Portuguese fiction reserved for these seven thieves. There are rascals everywhere, but only a few are special.
The “Chronicle of the Good Trickster” is the first of many other series to open or return this December. Click on the gallery to get to know them.