Me, You, Them

Reviewed By Thom
Posted 03/01/01 19:37:51

"Subtle, simple, slow and deep. kind of like good sex."
4 stars (Worth A Look)

I really liked Me, You, Them, but I couldn't think of one single person I know who would like it as well. But that's because I like reaching for the story and Me, You, Them made me work for it. It's simple but tells a deep story of a strong woman who in her way overcomes the limitations of her culture without even trying, much.

Life will happen whether you do anything or not and the best that Darlene can do is make due with what gets thrown her way.

After getting stood up at the altar, pregnant, she makes her way to the city and returns several years later to discover her mother has died. At the funeral, a local man proposes to her and she accepts and soon finds out that her married life is going to be less than satisfying. But life is kinder to her and she gets a second man, and even a third, to take care of her and ultimately ends up living in the same house with all of them and their respective sons.

The portrayal of friendship in the remote village is complicated and endearing. Friends are valued over all costs and even the most strained of circumstances need to be overcome to maintain the bonds that they need for health and happiness.

At 30 years old, director Andrucha Waddington succesfully directed much older, more experienced actors. Regina Case, who plays Darlene, is extraordinarily famous in Brazil as are her co-stars, Lima Duarte (Osias), Stenio Garcia (Zezinho) and Luiz, Carlos Vasconcelos (Ciro - the third and youngest of the husbands). His reliance on the actors for their expertise in elements of the provincial culture of Brazil helped create a genuine experience. And their characterizations were lush and luxurious and even the more ornery characters were so well wrought that it was a pleasure to watch them.

The editing is leisurely and indulgent which adds to the slow pace of the film. Watching a woman on a donkey for three minutes might not seem like it pulls the story along or the audience fast enough but its not the kind of film that does all the work for you. It demands attention and I don't think it will be enjoyable for someone who needs fast, economical editing and a hair raising sharp turn every few minutes.

Me, You, Them is a sensual, human drama. If Hollywood makes films like rennaissance religous art ...all formula, idealism and icons, then this film is like the Dutch painters who portrayed the common people in all their lusty, dirty, glory.

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