Top positive review
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A fine member of Brazilian cinematic collections
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'.