The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
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All Critics (20)
| Top Critics (7)
| Fresh (8)
| Rotten (12)
| DVD (2)
A luridly baroque tale of violent revenge, this Brazilian-Italian entry relies heavily on atmospheric visuals to compensate for its lack of depth in both plotting and characterizations.
Abranches intends for a religious parable by way of Greek tragedy, but the film drowns in a morass of portentous signs and poetic symbols.
At times, the filmmaker seems unsure of his mission. He should have had Filomena for his producer.
Its emotional climate is too extreme to invite identification, and its characters are too single-minded in their revenge to evoke pity, terror or even much interest.
The intent was apparently a Sergio Leone-ish black comedy, but the leaden pacing, somnambulant performances and incessant symbolism in nearly every shot will soon have you thinking that The Three Marias is three too many.
Those who long for the termite glory of 1950s B westerns might find something to like about this tightly wound, borderline absurd oddity.
The good news is that for a change the females, however malevolent, get to use their brains rather than their bodies as problem solving implements.
A solid 'B' movie with no meaningful dialogue, a creaky plotline and wildly evocative characters, but its crude charm is unmistakable.
Marias is all about build-up, with very little payoff.
Abranches isn't able to turn the wackiness into anything I would be able to recommend to anyone who isn't whacked out of their gourd on mind-altering substances.
The film has all the pregnant pauses, exaggerated reaction shots and melodramatic scoring of an overripe telenovela, but, unlike a good soap opera, the sisters' separate story lines are clumsily balanced.
This strikingly unusual movie is at once an old-fashioned melodrama, a boldly stylized spectacle, and a very grim fairy tale, acted and directed with originality and flair.
[font=Century Gothic]In the Brazilian film, "The Three Marias", the husband and two sons of Filomena(Marieta Severo) have just been brutally murdered. She gathers her three grown daughters, Maria Francisca(Julia Lemmertz), Maria Rosa(Maria Luisa Mendonca) and Maria Pia(Luiza Mariani), and instructs them to employ three hitmen to kill the murderers and bring their heads to her.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Three Marias" is an odd, beguiling and violent revenge flick with an interesting structure. The film uses religious symbolism to comment on misogyny in the Church, thus lending a definite feminist edge to the whole project, especially with the strong female characters.[/font]
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