Sunday, October 4, 2009

Bizarre Love Triangle

Cidade Baixa/Lower City (2005) - Machado
A typical fatalist ménage à trois set in the slums of Rio, therefore, far more refreshing and vibrant. Deco(Lazaro Ramos) and Naldinho(Wagner Moura) are couple of childhood friends/young low lives squeezing by in the urban jungle called El Salvador. They give a ride on their boat a sexy girl, Karinna(Alice Braga of City of God, Blindness), who willingly negotiates the price with her body. Karinna takes a job at a sleazy exotic dance club and sells her body to fat ugly gringos while having steamy relationship with both Deco and Naldinho. Soon jealousy takes over them and rifts their friendship. Deco dabbles in boxing and is trying to go straight while Naldinho is still dreaming of small time crook success. Karinna is attracted to both of them and aware of her possibly destructive power she has over them. She's expecting a baby. What is she going to decide?

All three principal actors are very good: Lazaro Ramos, Wagner Moura and Alice Braga are all top notch portraying dreamers in the slum looking for better and quieter life. The energy and immediacy and color are just amazing. I just wished Machado focused more on naturally beautiful surroundings as much as he did on Braga's barely concealed breasts most of the running time.

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