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Another Love Story (2007)
"Maré, Nossa História de Amor" (original title)

5.4
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Ratings: 5.4/10 from 166 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 2 critic

Free adaptation of the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet translated to the harsh life in Favela da Maré, one of largest and most violent slums in Rio de Janeiro.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Vinícius D'Black ...
Jonathan
Monique Soares ...
Luciene
Rafael Mariano ...
Leonardo
Elisa Lucinda ...
D. Maria
Cristina Lago ...
Analídia
Babu Santana ...
Dudu
Jefchander Lucas ...
Anjo Lopes ...
Anjo
Marisa Orth ...
Fernanda
Flavio Bauraqui ...
Paulo
Deise Tigrona ...
Deize (as Deize Tigrona)
Leroy ...
Coro (as Leroy Paiva)
M.S. Bom ...
Coro (as MS Bom)
Nego Jeff ...
Coro (as Nêgo Jeff)
Malu Galli ...
Maria Eugênia
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Storyline

Living in a slum divided between two rival gangs of drug traffickers, Analídia is the daughter of one of the gangs' leaders and Jonatha is a childhood friend of the other gang leader. Both study in a dance group situated exactly in the middle of the two territories, looking for solace in art. A salute to the strong sense of Brazilian music, to the relevance of national contemporary dance, and to the strange mix found today in slums, where violence lives alongside the artistic paths enabled by social projects. Written by Lu Gastão

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

favela | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama | Musical

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

4 April 2008 (Brazil)  »

Also Known As:

Another Love Story  »

Box Office

Budget:

BRL 3,900,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Though the film takes place in the Favela da Maré, the locations had to be filmed in the favelas of Rio das Pedras and Tavares Bastos for safety reasons. See more »

Connections

References West Side Story (1961) See more »

Soundtracks

O Racha
Written by Kako do Hip Hop
Performed by Kako do Hip Hop & Vinícius D'Black
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Favela Side Story
7 February 2008 | by (Portugal) – See all my reviews

Screened at Rio de Janeiro International Film Festival, October 2007.

In her 20+ years as director/writer/producer, Lucia Murat has built an impressively coherent career, focusing strongly on politically-oriented films. A woman with an active and traumatic political past (she was arrested, tortured and forced to seek exile abroad during the Brazilian military regime in the 1970s), she has used fictional form to address issues that are usually restricted to the documentary format: a semi-autobiographical essay on torture and survival ("Que Bom te Ver Viva"), corruption and dangerous political liaisons in Brazilian TV and media ("Doces Poderes"), the genocide of native Indian tribes in colonial Brazil ("Brava Gente Brasileira), the genesis of organized crime and drug traffic in Rio ("Quase Dois Irmãos"). So it's fair to say her new film "Maré, Nossa História de Amor" is somewhat of a shock: a lightweight, teen- oriented, VERY romantic musical remake of the Romeo and Juliet legend, using Rio's favelas as décor and rival favela drug gangs as Capulettos and Montecchios. The result is an embarrassment, not because she's made a sharp detour in her career – we're all fully entitled to walk new paths -- but because "Maré" is a cascade of clichés, copies entire sequences of "West Side Story", has caricatures instead of characters, is unexciting as a love story and flat in its musical numbers.

The problems start with the script, written by Murat and Paulo Lins (the famous author of "City of God", though his contribution here seems hard to pinpoint). There are more characters than the film can cope with, so we do get lost in the who's who -- it often seems that side stories were chopped off for length's sake. The characters fall in clean-cut boxes: the traffickers are evil monsters, as are the white CEOs of big corporations, while Murat seems to be telling us that young favelados can be saved from drugs by dancing and loving each other (well, it's a musical...). And the denouement is one of the phoniest and silliest you ever saw -- EVEN for a musical.

Another major problem is the two awkward, inexperienced protagonists: D'Black (Jônata/ Romeo) is a handsome, happy-go-lucky black guy who can sing OK, can dance a little, but he's a non- actor; Cristina Lago (as Analídia/Juliet) is a sad-eyed, sweet petite white ballerina (it's hard to believe a favela girl can be so street-unwise) who can dance OK, act a little, but can't sing at all. Worse, they look bland and lack chemistry: we spend the whole film wishing they would dance away somewhere and be happy already. Their romance is corny and unsexy: they're so naive and spellbound they seem dim-witted.

In the supporting cast, experienced Marisa Orth is a dancing teacher with a conscience; she tries her best, but her role is hopelessly patronizing – the best laughs come when her character is told off by foul-mouthed traffickers. Flávio Bauraqui, as Jonathan's no-nonsense older brother, acts so tense he seems to be in another film and he can't get his accent right, but his singing voice is fine. Babu Santana, as Jonathan's drug lord half-brother, gets the Rod Steiger-award for over-the-top- scenery-chewing, and a lot of his lines sound improvised for laughs -- he does get his laughs, though, and we're thankfully spared of his singing. Jeffchander Lucas is adequately gross as trafficker Bê, and Anjo Lopes is funny and witty as neophyte drug soldier Anjo – he makes the film alive whenever he appears, even though his character is a mess of contradictions. Best of all, it's good to see there's a LOT of talent in the large cast of dancers: they're so sexy, groovy and athletic – even when Graciela Figueroa's choreography looks tacky and old-fashioned – that you keep wishing the film dropped the story and became a long dancing clip.

Most of the songs are non-original (à la "Moulin Rouge") and some adequately translate in lyrics and beat the dire world of the favela, but the films sags awfully in the classical ballet numbers to the sound of Prokofieff's Romeo and Juliet: they look awfully kitsch. Lucio Kodato's cinematography alternates good moments (the film's opening) and awkward ones (the hyper-cliché "Minha Alma" number among cars, a rip-off of the infamous "Fame" number). The best comes from Gringo Cardia's art direction: it finds "beauty" and color in the "ugliness" of the favela, uses bright colors and great graffiti work (by favela artists) in a very creative way.

"Maré" doesn't "hurt" but it's a disappointment, both as a musical and as a romantic movie. You'd guess that, after directing "Olhar Estrangeiro" – a documentary criticizing the clichés that Hollywood and European films perpetrate and perpetuate selling Brazil as an "exotic" land of permissive morals, easy women, shady business transactions and lenience with corruption – Lúcia Murat wouldn't fall into the "exotic" trap herself. But "Maré" embarrassingly looks as tourist-oriented as Marcel Camus' "Black Orpheus", this time without the benefit of the peerless songs by Vinícius de Moraes, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Luís Bonfá.


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