Beyond the Universe

Life, Love, and Lupus

By Sajad Jatoi | March 2023

Baeyond the Universe is a Brazilian film with a pulsating storyline imbued with romantic theme and deep human connection. The main plot of the film revolves around a gifted female pianist who has to go through a kidney transplant and stumbles upon a doctor who falls in love with her and leans over backwards to help her achieve her dream of winning a music championship.

Originally in Portuguese, the film circles around two protagonists: Nina (played by Giulia Be) and Gabriel (played by Henry Zaga), featuring several other characters like Nina’s grandpa Joaquim (played by Othon Bastos), and Gabriel’s father Dr Alberto (played by João Miguel).

It begins with showing a range of beautiful colours, such as pink, blue and others. The opening gives the impression that the viewer is travelling through the cosmic universe. While all this is being played out, a mellifluous voice, that of Nina, is heard, revealing her earnest desire to have a compatible person in her life out of the 7 billion people in the world.

Since her childhood, Nina has been suffering from Lupus, an auto-immune disease in which the immune system of the patient attacks his/her own body. Playing piano since her early childhood, she in her teen years discovers her passion for becoming a champion at the Symphony Orchestra. She tries this a number of times, but each time success evades her, for when she goes for the try outs and the moment she starts playing the piano, the blood drops off her nose and she falls unconscious. She becomes quite depressed at her failure.

One day Nina learns at the hospital that lupus is badly affecting her kidneys whose function has fallen below 10 per cent. She is told to await a kidney transplant out of more than 14,000 patients on the waiting list. In the meanwhile, she is advised to have haemodialysis.

It is in these times when she encounters a young doctor Gabriel at the same hospital where she is under treatment. The doctor, who had already encountered her at a public place and had been mesmerised by her piano playing skills, develops a crush on her. He is a cheering, carefree person, while Nina is in the state of extreme depression.

Though Nina is quite pessimistic owing to her poor health condition, she also falls in love with the young doctor Gabriel, who brings about a positive change in her life and helps her become an optimistic person. The way Gabriel encourages her to achieve her dream is amazing. Nina then starts believing in herself and tries to realise her dream in order to make her way to the top.

In a desperate move to help Nina lead a normal, pain-free life, Gabriel even tries to donate her his own kidney. However, the compatibility test comes out to be negative. Yet, he does not lose hope and goes to the extent of risking his job to help Nina.

The cinematography is pretty good and is amazing in some scenes. For example, the entry of Gabriel on a bicycle is interesting to watch. He rides his bicycle on a bustling road recklessly. The view of the street and stately buildings make a riveting scenery. The plot of the film may seem clichéd as it is a typical romantic drama. However, the lead characters Nina and Gabriel have acted in a phenomenal way.
One caveat: Some people may not consider it appropriate to watch it with family.