Two years ago, Netflix announced that it would make an original series based on Operation Car Wash – Brazil’s largest (and longest) corruption investigation to date. Viewers were even more excited when they discovered that the renowned director José Padilha (Narcos, Elite Squad) would lead the project. The result, a series called O Mecanismo (‘The Mechanism’ in English) is now available with subtitles in English, French, German, and Spanish.
While American audiences are used to political shows, Brazilian content producers have traditionally avoided them. That lack of practice is noticeable when watching O Mecanismo. Instead of sticking to the facts, which are already movie-worthy, Padilha opted for unnecessary flare and exaggerated performances. Padilha tried to recreate many of the elements found in his hit show Narcos. That strategy, however, didn’t elevate his Brazilian series; it only serves to highlight its shortcomings.