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Five maids in São Paulo are observed in this episodic, impressionistic film. The women interact with each other, ride busses, work, and have longings: Rai for a husband, Créo for her lost daughter, Roxane for a career in modeling. Quitéria is naive, a gull for thieves. Cida has a husband and also a lover. While each woman gets what she wishes for (more or less), it doesn't always make things better. As Roxane says, no child sets out to become a maid. But once there, are all other doors closed? Written by
This film squanders an opportunity to make an important social statement. Brazil has a larger gap between rich and poor than any country in the world. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in the contrast between the women who work as domestic household servants and the people they work for. This film zeros in on the personal lives of five of these women. They all share a deep antipathy to their employers, yet the employers are never shown. Thus we never get to see the basis of their antipathy, and it is too easy to chalk this up to mere envy, when it is probably much more. This is hinted at when one of the maids treats a pizza delivery boy very much like the way she is probably treated by her employer.
The first half of the film is very slow moving and a chore to get through. The second half picks up somewhat. The story at first is hard to follow, the story lines are blurred, and the characters are at first hard to distinguish from one another. Perhaps that is the film's point; your guess is as good as mine. But this is an overall bore that could have been much better.
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