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Three Marias, The [Import]

Marieta Severo , Júlia Lemmertz , Aluizio Abranches    Unrated   DVD

Price: CDN$ 29.98 & FREE Shipping. Details
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Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  3 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vengeance in an Updated Greek Tragedy Set in Brazil July 25 2006
By Grady Harp - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
As Três Marias (Three Marias) is about as theatrical as a film can be without confining itself to a stage. Creative director Alusio Abranches, responding to the script by Heitor Dhalia and Wilson Freire, has elected to film this story of gory murder and revenge incorporating screen visuals that transport the contemporary setting into the realm of magical realism. And it works very well - if the viewer is willing to sacrifice linear storytelling to the metaphor-laden technique.

The film begins with an extended silent view of a man and a woman in conversation beneath a bizarre rock formation: Firmino Santos Guerra (Carlos Vereza) is obviously trying to talk Filomena Capadocio (Marieta Severo) into not leaving him. Jump forward in time and the murders of three men are enacted in the most grisly of manners - one is hanged by his own intestines, on has his eyes and heart torn out, and one is burned to death - all under the familial guidance of the Santos Guerra family. The deaths represent the husband and two sons of Filomena and when she is told of the events, she stifles her tears with building hate and calls her three daughters to her home - Maria Francisca (Julia Lemmertz) Maria Rosa (Maria Luisa Mendonca), and Maria Pia (Luiza Mariani). Each daughter is given the obligation to hire a hitman to deliver the head of Firmino to Filomena. The story then proceeds to show the engaging of Chief Tenorio (Tuca Andrada) bitten by a rabid dog, Ze das Cobras (Enrique Diaz) who never has spoken with a woman and uses a 'translator' Catrevagem (Lazaro Ramos) to communicate, and imprisoned murderer Jesusino Cruz (Wagner Moura) whose protocol for killing is always to cut his victims in half. With this trio of hitmen the three Marias set out to accomplish their mother's vengeance and how this plays out is the essence of the film.

Shot in stark colors and contrasts and accompanied by an operatic music score, the film succeeds as a mood piece. The actors are all quite fine despite the fact they are playing archetypes rather than credible human beings. For a heavy dose of excellent Brazilian classical theater this film is sure to please. Grady Harp, July 06
4.0 out of 5 stars a whirlwind tale July 21 2007
By Elevate Difference - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD
The 3 Marias, a gritty 2002 Brazilian film directed by Aluizio Abranches, revisits the age-old theme of revenge, but with a delightful empowering twist. The film opens with haunting opening credits, and the story begins with a rather cryptic yet powerfully operatic scene. The plot then steamrolls forward, introducing the victims of unwelcome murder, and off we go. It's a whirlwind tale of a woman, wronged by an ex-lover, who happens to be her late husband's archenemy, imploring her three daughters to avenge the cruel and corrupt death of their father and two brothers. Filomena Capadocio (Marieta Severo) is greeted with the news of her husband and sons' deaths and immediately springs into action passing on three commands to her three daughters: to find a hit man each to kill the three men who murdered their family.

The death of one of the characters (I will not give the details away) is quite powerful, reminiscent of the martyrdom of St. Lawrence. The film is rife with references to Christianity, specifically Catholic tradition and imagery, with the use of the number three and overt references to biblical tales.

The women in the film seem to represent female stereotypes, which, at first, was off-putting; I assumed these women would be portrayed more as superficial caricatures, but once the credits rolled, I was happily mistaken. Filomena plays the role of the forlorn widow, however, she exhibits a much stronger, empowered personality of a family matriarch. The oldest daughter, Maria Francisca (Julia Lemmertz), was introduced as a prissy, little lady who wears heels while traversing the difficult and rocky terrain of the desert. The middle daughter, Maria Rosa (Maria Luisa Mendonca), is seen as meek and emotional, and the youngest daughter is pigeonholed as a tough, stand-offish vixen with exposed cleavage and a penchant for hard looks. These superficial introductions to the characters are shattered, however, at the end of the film, when each of the girls exhibit qualities contrary to her stereotyped persona, which drives home the point that these women are not merely the "gentler" sex, but wholly humans.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sloppy subtitles ruin everything!!! June 22 2005
By CoTiGiDa Min - Published on Amazon.com
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The movie was supposed to be a marvellous horror from Brazil. Yet mediocre subtitles -- very small whitish letters -- manage to ruins all the joy I could have from watching this movie. The picture transfer was another failure; it's just like the manufacturer transferred it from a VHS source. Avoid this lame DVD at all cost.

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