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The Three Marias review

So Brazilian cinema's still glowing warm after the melt-the-celluloid antics of City Of God, eh? Er, no - not if this soggy soap opera is anything to go by.

After a family feud leaves their menfolk dead, the three Marias (Julia Lemmertz, Maria Mendonça and Luiza Mariani) decide to take their revenge on the rival family by hiring a collection of psychotic hitmen. Dressed in black mourning wear, the Marias tempt and seduce the men to help their cause, but nothing quite turns out the way it should as surprise passions and the odd bit of sex get in the way.

Sounds great, doesn't it? Yeah, and so did Tim Burton's reimagining of Planet Of The Apes. 'Til we saw the bloody thing, that is. So while The Three Marias should have been slick, stylish and sexy, it actually emerges as an incoherent, low-budget drama that mixes and muddles some incongruous fairytale trappings with its soap roots. One thing's for sure: there's plenty of sobbing, soul-searching and tears. But that's just from the audience.

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