Lower City review

Bezzy-mates Brazilian boys Deco (Lázaro Ramos) and Naldinho (Wagner Moura) nail trashy, Shakira-style hooker Karinna (Alice Braga) on their humble cargo boat. After a stabby altercation at a cock-fight, Deco nurses the bed-bound Naldinho while taking full advantage of Karinna's... goodwill.

First-timer Sérgio Machado cooks up a spicy lust triangle but he never really burrows to the heart of the key tease: is there something unspoken pulsing beneath Naldinho and Deco's pally surface, and is Karinna a catalyst to draw out the ultimate Brazilian taboo?

Braga is terrific - tempestuous, sweat-lashed and ablaze with coiled libido. But the overall effect is too oppressive, and while there's a hint of tension in the knowledge that Deco is struggling to avoid shady underworld mates, Machado meanders away from any kind of pay-off.

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