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on November 7, 2001
How often do you watch a movie in which the main character is a not very attractive woman in her thirties AND she has three men in her life? If you answer pretty frequently, this movie is not for you. I have to admit that the premise of the movie is nothing short of incredibly daring. Yet, it is not something extraordinary.
After watching Central Station and a couple other Brazilian movies, I wonder if poverty is a key ingredient in Brazilian cinema. However, these films are hardly exploitative and pity-inducing. This is especially true with 'Me, You and Them'. Poverty is a strong backdrop to this movie, however, the film does not allow it to overtake the overall tone of the film. Behind the poverty, there is a prevailing sense of life. The richness of life exists whether one is rich or poor. This film does well in presenting this aspect while telling an ordinary story about a life of ordinary woman in perhaps an extraordinary circumstance.
The movie does not employ fancy plotlines. There are not many peaks and valleys within the story and it is pretty consistent throughout. In fact, a person unwilling to take a peek at somebody else's life, as mundane as it might be, would probably fall asleep before the end of the first half of the film. In its simplicity, though, lies a beauty. Much of the beauty lies with the fact that the film is impartial and holds back its verdicts. Darlene's conduct might be seen as immoral, then again looking at her circumstances, couldn't it be justified? The film is unwilling to pass any judgments. Even the ending does not suggest much, avoiding the cause and effects type of storytelling.
The cinematography is nothing short of breathtaking. Like every other aspect of the film, it doesn't seek for the grandeurs. As a result, there is a certain raw, stark quality to the images while still capturing the beauty of arid Brazil.
If you are a lover of international cinema, you do not want to miss this one. You might finish the movie none the wiser, however, you will definitely be 'cinematically richer'.
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on October 14, 2001
The movie tells us more than simply having kids from one man to another.
It's about Darlene's search for happiness in a dismal place -- where poverty is widespread & the land is barren. It also shows why people create relationships & why they stick to it for various reasons. Initially fooled & disillusioned by 1st love, Darlene wises up to accept a marriage proposal from Osias for security purposes (house & pension fund), in lieu of romance. Being ordered around, she feels further helpless in her seemingly 'impotent' husband & finds love & respect in the arms of Zozhino, Osias' cousin. Things would have been better but passion comes in, in the guise of Ciro, Darlene's co-worker.
Let us just say this film is not so ordinary despite its almost barren setting. All these characters & their children live under one roof, & how they all get along, is something worth watching & analyzing. The seemingly indifferent Osias brings with him a certain tension & what he does at the end is something to ponder about.
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on March 27, 2002
I haven't seen many Brazilian films, but every one I've seen really blows apart--really challenges--your morals. I claim that I can watch this with an open mind, in order to objectively judge the outcome, the impact to each of their lives. Does each character find meaning in his/her life?
One aspect of the plot that is interesting, is Darlene the main character bears each man in her life a son, except for her legal husband. This has some fullfilling effect on these men. Her husband on the other hand, emasculated in a sense, in the end does what he can to preserve some vestige of his manhood and status.
I love movies that take me somewhere. This movie is beautifully shot, yielding many scenes of its stark beauty, but it by no means romanticizes. The setting is of a vast dry land. It is hot. They live in mud houses (Of course this appealed to me in look and practicality.). Everyone sleeps in hammocks.
The people, though very poor and unglamorous--to me this made them genuinely beautiful--have a rough life. Darlene, the main character must work, even when pregnant harvesting in the cane fields.
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on April 8, 2014
An archconservative will not probably not like this movie. I shared the plotline with my family and they found it repulsive. To me, it is a lovely synchronization of visual and thespian skill. Other reviewers have provided a keen idea of the story. It's intriguing to see that a woman in an impoverished setting can arrange her life to suit her desires.
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on January 25, 2006
I never write raves. But this is a very underestimated film. The screenplay is spare and polished. The actors - sublime. Regina Case is amazing in this role. Should have won all kinds of awards. Completely absorbing. Best film I've seen in a long time.

No violence, restrained sex - real life, with somebody you are really rooting for.
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on July 13, 2001
Delicious film with great photography, wonderfull soundtrack by Gilberto Gil and excelent performs of Casé, Lima Duarte and Stenio Garcia, try it!!!!!!!
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on September 23, 2013
This movie has a way of cheering me up. Darlene makes the best of the hand she's been dealt and lives her life her own way. It's very liberating to see a woman in charge.
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on February 18, 2006
This movie is funny and very interesting. It can be a little slow for the "now generation". Each child that is born looks nothing like her husband. The husbands female cousin has smart remarks with each arrival -- priceless. Very real world rural Brazil. I read other reviews focusing on birth control etc., but I found that I was looking forward to the next child to see how the child would look and the reaction around the arrival. If you take life too seriously and trying to look for hidden meanings/agendas -Not for you - Just enjoy it for what it is.....

Life goes on..........
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on November 22, 2015
Interesting but not great film. Good to see how people in this part of the world work and live.
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on January 14, 2015
Wonderful flick. She's totally amoral and knows how to get what she wants.
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