Augusto (Vladimir Brichta) is a single dad and struggling actor. As the louche, handsome son of a famous actress, performance is in his blood, even if studio executives are only interested in his butt (the sole work he seems to get is soapy, made-for-TV soft porn). When he gets the opportunity to audition for the part of Bingo in the Spanish-language remake of American morning TV hit Bingo the Clown, he brings Brazilian swagger and a rambunctious energy to his new role. Augusto gets the part, goes off script and drives up the show’s ratings with salacious jokes and saucy guest stars. But as the show becomes successful, his backstage antics become more and more Boogie Nights-esque, literally bleeding into his live shows (one performance sees his red nose disintegrating while a cocaine nosebleed flows underneath). Brichta’s performance has an edge of mania, creating a high-energy happy-sad clown quality that’s riveting, if exhausting, to watch.
Bingo wears its 80s setting, pop soundtrack and neon colours well, and rollicks along enjoyably, though in doing so brings a sense of undue haste to Augusto’s obligatory redemptive ending.