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Overall Rating

Awesome: 33.33%
Worth A Look: 16.67%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

1 review, 6 user ratings

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Mango Yellow
[] Buy posters from this movie
by Brian McKay

"Like an overripe mango, it soon turns a sickly shade of brown."
3 stars

There’s probably a story hiding in the pulpy guts of MANGO YELLOW, but you may have to really gnaw at it to find it. What it ends up being a collection of characters who occasionally intersect, allowing mayhem to ensue. Sometimes it’s interesting to watch, sometimes not.

Walking around in the mango mix we have the barmaid who likes to bitch about how it’s all the “same shit day after day”, flash a belligerent customer her crotch, then smash him over the head with a beer bottle. (well, okay, a few things happen in between, but they would require far too many keystrokes to explain). Then we have the good Christian wife, Kika (Dira Paes – probably best known to western audiences as “Kachiri”, the naked aboriginal girl from John Boorman’s The Emerald Forest), whose husband Wellington (Chico Diaz) has been going out with a more un-Christian woman on the side. But poor Kika has even more competition from Dunga (Matheus Nachtergaele), a flamboyantly gay hotel cook who has his own designs on Wellington and will stop at nothing to make them happen. “Never underestimate a determined Queen,” he says, while scheming to get Wellington away from his wife, his mistress, and his heterosexuality. Throw Isaac (Jonas Block) into the mix as he procures black-market dead bodies and tries to bed two of the women mentioned above, (with a fifty percent success rate).

Now, this leads to some hilarious moments. But unfortunately, it also leads to an awful lot of meandering about with a bunch of characters who for the most part just don’t do much of anything. In addition to flashing female genitalia (including the carpet sample of a 300 pound mamacita that I could have happily gone without seeing for the rest of my life), the film likes to take a lot of long detours through crowded streets, focus in on random faces, and treat the viewer to extensive scenes of pig and cow slaughter (Wellington works in a slaughterhouse). For the most part, nothing happens, but even when it does, there is so little invested in these characters that you don’t really care about the results.

While it wasn’t taxing to sit through for an hour and a half, it wasn’t particularly entertaining for the most part either. It’s certainly nice to see the lovely Dira Paes again (even if she is mostly clothed this time), but unfortunately, MANGO YELLOW is just a pulpy morass - sometimes sweet, until you start chocking on the seeds.

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originally posted: 04/29/03 04:18:00
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 San Francisco Film Festival. For more in the 2003 San Francisco Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

5/14/12 aka Watch the commentary on the DVD. It is an entertaining lecture on Brazilian anthropology. 5 stars
9/29/08 Rubylou Just seen it - a rich tapestry of low life in Brazil, reminds me of Jorge Amado novels 4 stars
9/12/07 Carnik Moses Lots of colourful characters, which makes it an entertaining movie, weird but watchable. 4 stars
10/08/04 Janet Recife rocks - think Brazilian culture and life, not Hollywood physical sexual appearances 5 stars
12/25/03 Sin Hoi Liu it has the best photography, very colorful, and it show the other side of the people 5 stars
10/09/03 PK Excellent piece of art :-) 5 stars
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  N/A (NR)



Directed by
  Cláudio Assis

Written by
  Hilton Lacerda

  Dira Paes
  Matheus Nachtergaele
  Chico Diaz
  Jonas Bloch
  Leona Cavalli

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