Netflix Review: “O Mecanismo” (No Spoilers)

The purpose of this article is to give a short review of the Brazilian Netflix series “O Mecanismo” from the perspective of a language learner. My goal is to give you a sense of what you might get out of the series if you’re studying Brazilian Portuguese. I’ll also give a general take on the series because enjoying how and what you’re using to learn languages is just as important as the technique itself. 

The series focuses on a long-term federal police operation called “Lava Jato” that was and is focused on uncovering money laundering schemes in Brazil. You likely have already heard of “Operação Lava Jato” if you’ve been spending time learning Portuguese and about Brazil in general.

Opening scene from the Netflix series “O Mecanismo”

The series, as the series intro states, is loosely based on true events. The investigation centered around the plot of the series leads to high profile political and business figures in Brazil including the former president. I’m not going to go into any more depth about the characters or the plot of the series because I don’t want to give away any fictional spoilers, but I’d like to add that the background of the series makes it all the more engaging.

If you have an interest in learning legal or political Portuguese vocabulary, then this series is perfect for you. There are discussions about actions that judges and politicians can take under the Brazilian constitution and you’re guaranteed to learn something about the Brazilian legal system whether it be good or bad. You’ll learn words like juiz (judge), grampa (phone tap) and quadrilha (gang or a group of whom are involved in a money laundering scheme). There are certainly other, maybe more relatable, themes in the series as well related to life and personal relationships.

As a whole the series is well made and is easy to recommend to anyone interested in watching authentic Brazilian content. The fact that history inspired the series makes it all the more interesting and immerses you even deeper into the plot and Brazilian culture.  

The main actors and actress starring in the series includes Selton Mello, Caroline Abras and Enrique Diaz.

I’ve written an article on how to make the most of watching foreign language content on Netflix that you can find here. I highly recommend reading it if you’re serious about learning languages from movies and series.

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