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The Three Marias (2002)
"As Três Marias" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  2 August 2002 (Brazil)
6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 303 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 4 user | 22 critic | 9 from Metacritic.com

Woman uses her three daughters to avenge their father and brothers, killed by a jealous ex-fiancé.

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Cast

Cast overview:
Marieta Severo ...
Filomena Capadócio
Júlia Lemmertz ...
Maria Francisca (as Julia Lemmertz)
...
Maria Rosa
Luíza Mariani ...
Maria Pia
Carlos Vereza ...
Firmino Santos Guerra
Enrique Diaz ...
Zé das Cobras (as Enrique Díaz)
...
Jesuíno Cruz
Tuca Andrada ...
Chief Tenório
Lázaro Ramos ...
Catrevagem
Cassiano Carneiro ...
José Tranquilo Santos Guerra
André Barros ...
João Capadócio
Fábio S. Limma ...
Arcanjo Santos Guerra
Alexandre Borges ...
Body Guard
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Storyline

In Bahia, a woman spurns a suitor she'd rejected thirty years before. In response, he and his sons sadistically kill her husband and sons. She gathers her three daughters and swears revenge, sending each to hire a killer who's to bring her the head of his victim. Maria Francisca is to hire Zé das Cobras, who eats snakes for courage and won't talk directly to women. Maria Rosa is to hire Chief Tenório, a righteous policeman currently on the hunt for a mad dog. Maria Pia is to hire Jesuíno Cruz, whom she must first spring from prison, and who cuts his victim's in half so that God and Satan get their share. Will the daughters succeed? Will justice be done? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

2 August 2002 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

The 3 Marias  »

Company Credits

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

The lack of heart, thoughtfulness and complexity in the characters and story makes it unmemorable and quite dull
23 April 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

When she learns that her husband and three sons have been brutally murdered, a mother bottles up her grief to ensure that it turns to hatred and a desire for revenge. With the wake complete, the mother sits with her three grown daughters and gives them each a mission – to seek out and employ the services of three men who will kill on their behalf, thus getting vengeance without her family being directly stained by more blood.

At heart I am not anywhere near as clever or as discerning as I would like to think I am and at times this does mean that I just assume that any foreign film that has managed to reach the UK must, by default, be really good and worth seeing. Mostly this maxim does reward me but too often it does not and I find myself sticking with a film that I would not have bothered with had it been made in English in London for example. As Três Marias is one such film. The plot summary made me think that it would be complex and challenging as it offered up the elements of tragedy, soaked with hatred and revenge involving young women. It could have been daring and thoughtful but instead it is dull and rarely amounts to much.

Visually it is very stylish and delivered with energy but director Abranches has put too much effort into this and nowhere near enough into drawing out characters and structuring this story to maximise effect. Speaking of structure, this film more or less flows forward but there are jumps around back and forward to tell us more about specific events. It is, I think, designed to create a mystery and drive it forward as a thriller but really the material lacks the thrills and intrigue that are needed for this device to then punch it home. With this lacking I was looking for the tragedy to be made more of, and it should have done with the shadow of death over every character. Sadly this is fudged as well and I never really cared for anyone involved and nobody seemed interested in doing anything in the hearts and souls of their characters. Accordingly the performances are dry – not bad per se but just lacking anything of substance. Severo pulls some faces that imply pain but has little behind it, while Lemmertz, Mendonça and Mariani are solid in terms of events but have nothing being their actions.

The overall effect then is a film that just sort of happens. The narrative just about provides enough reason to keep half an eye on it but even the occasionally engaging styling of it all is not enough to hold the interest. The lack of a heart and thoughtfulness in terms of the events starts in the script and creeps through delivery right down into the performances; a key failing that means there is little about this film that I will remember even a few days from now.


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