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The Three Marias (2002)

Cast: Marieta Severo, Marieta Severo, Julia Lemmertz, more...
Director: Aluizio Abranches, Aluizio Abranches
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Studio: Empire Pictures
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Black Comedy, Latin America, Brazil, Quest, Revenge
Languages: Portuguese
Subtitles: English
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Brazilian filmmaker Aluizio Abranches, who garnered international attention with his debut feature Um Copo de Colera, directed this audacious and idiosyncratic crime thriller. When she was a young woman, Filomena Capadocio (Marieta Severo) had pledged to marry Firmino Santos Guerra (Carlos Vereza), but she opted to call off the engagement and instead wed Borges Capadscio, one of his greatest enemies. An angry Santos Guerra swore to someday take vengeance against Filomena, but waited thirty years to make good on his promise, when arranged for the cold-blooded murder of Filomena's husband and two sons. Distraught, Filomena brings together her three daughters -- Maria Pia (Luiza Mariani, Maria Rosa (Maria Luisa Mendonca) and Maria Francesca (Julia Lemmertz) - and tells them of her plan to avenge these deaths of her men. Each of the sisters is given the name of a different hired killer, and each is to arrange for the death of one of the men responsible for the slayings. Maria Pia has to free Jesuino Cruz (Wagner Moura) from jail so he can perform the hit, Maria Rosa must convince a usually honest cop (Tuca Andrada) to turn to the wrong side of the law, and Maria Francesca has the assignment of tracking down the crazed Ze des Cobras (Enrique Diaz), who likes to feast on snakes. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Ratings

The Three Marias (2002)
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GreenCine Member Reviews

The Three Sopranos by talltale May 2, 2005 - 2:57 PM PDT
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful
I don't know quite what to make of THE THREE MARIAS, and I suspect I will not be alone among members in this perplexed state. A Brazilian movie, ostensibly about revenge, it has a somewhat fable-like quality, but that may be a lack of screenwriting and directorial technique passing for willed naiveté. The story--in which the men of one family kill the men of another, leaving the mother/daughters to wreak vengeance--is not all that novel. While the handling of this is, it's also not very good.

Ideas about machismo, generational hatred, religion, violence, snakes, prison, corruption and other possibly important topics are raised in a half-assed manner and allowed to die on the vine. At film's end, you'll be left with a shrug, several questions and perhaps a moral or two: "Don't send a man to do a woman's job" and "If you accidentally kill off a politician, is that really, really wrong?"

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