A Portuguese comedy, ‘Time Hustler’ is the story of a street artist, who is transported to the year 1927, after a head injury. There he is mistaken to be Lampiao, a bandit who looks exactly like him.
Warning: This article contains heavy spoilers
‘Time Hustler’ opens with the protagonist, Virguley, failing to deliver food to a client. Soon after, Virguley meets with his troop to perform a play on the streets. He plays the role of a Bandit, Lampiao. In the middle of the play, a gang of street fighters chases Virguley.
The leader of this gang slaps Virguley violently after he is cornered in an alley. After the injury, Virguley is first transported amidst the clouds where he meets Padre Cícero, God’s servant. Padre Cicero transports Virguley to a village in the year 1927.
Virguley slowly learns that not only he is in the past but also that he looks exactly like Lampiao, a bandit and the captain of the village. Here, Virguley begins to take advantage of the situation and pretends to be the Lampiao.
Virguley just goes with the flow and becomes infatuated with a seamstress named Maria. Maria is smitten by ‘Lampiao’ and befriends him. The two then decide to form a gang to bring in betterment. They soon form their own band of misfits.
Amidst this, there is Coronel Tibúrcio, who is not a fan of Lampiao. He is thirsty for power and wants to be in sole control of the village. He plans to take down Virguley, the fake Lampiao, with the help of Rufino, one of his close soldiers. Rufino has an ulterior motive – he wishes to impress Maria and get married to her.
As ‘Time Hustler’ proceeds, the real Lampiao finds out that there is an imposter. He decides to detour his journey and return to punish Virguley. When Coronel Tibúrcio learns the truth about Virguley, he utilizes it to gain power in the village. He manipulates Virguley to do what he wants in return for keeping Virguley’s secret.
The villagers who once were in admiration of the fake Lampiao now dislike him. Along with this, Coronel Tibúrcio and Rufino plan to out Virguley and get him killed by the real Lampiao. Right after, they would attack the real Lampiao.
After much chaos created by the band of misfits and soldiers of Coronel Tibúrcio, Virguley is left to face Lampiao. In an attempt to punish Coronel Tibúrcio, Virguley gains the trust of Lampiao. Lampiao spares Virguley and announces that soon enough Virguley would be useful enough to him.
Virguley now is free of his lies, and he manages to win Maria’s heart through this journey. His band of misfits are now his confidants as well; and the village accepts him for who he is, with a warm heart.
‘Time Hustler’ ending explained in detail:
Does the real Lampiao kill Virguley?
Virguley fakes being the Lampiao for his own benefit. When he sees how the villagers are willing to do anything to keep the Lampiao in their good books, Virguley begins to exert his control.
Lampiao finds out about an imposter in his vicinity. Instead of going on his pre-decided mission, Lampiao heads back to the village to punish Virguley for impersonating him. When Lampiao finally gets hold of Virguley, he spares him.
Lampiao takes note of Virguley’s loyalty towards his ‘men’ and appreciates it. With this, Lampiao decides to utilize Virguley for future requirements. According to him, instead of killing Virguley, Lampiao would rather have him continue the impersonation to distract enemies.
Therefore, no Lampiao does not kill Virguley.
Whom does Maria fall in love with?
Throughout ‘Time Hustler’, Virguley and Rufino try to woo Maria. Both the men are head over heels for the young lady, who in turn does not reveal to whom her heart belongs.
By the second last episode of the series, it is revealed that despite being lied to, Maria is affectionate towards Virguley. She does adore Rufino as a friend, but she is in love with Virguley. She confesses her love to Virguley as well.
What happens to Coronel Tibúrcio?
From the very first episode, it is seen that Coronel Tibúrcio wishes to be the only one in charge of the village. He desires people to respect him greatly whilst fearing him. His other intent is to get rid of Lampiao.
Coronel Tibúrcio’s evil plans are almost successful until the villagers join hands with Virguley and his gang. Together, the large troop tries to take down Coronel Tibúrcio and his soldiers. When the real Lampiao comes back, things take a turn.
Coronel Tibúrcio arrests the real Lampiao, mistaking him to be Virguley. When Virguley surrounds Coronel Tibúrcio with his troop as well as Lampiao’s troop – Coronel Tibúrcio becomes helpless. At this point, his own children are against him as well.
As he tries to escape, Amelia, one of Coronel Tibúrcio’s daughters, shoots him in his backside. There is little to know about him after this scene, which is in the final episode of ‘Time Hustler’. Thus, Coronel Tibúrcio may have lost all the power that he once held.