Critic Consensus: Viva flirts with melodrama, but ultimately rises on the strength of strong performances and a thoroughly relatable message.
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Critic Reviews for Viva
Had the filmmakers slathered as much mascara on their characters' eyelids as they did stoking the plot with sentiment, the cast would have spent the last third of the picture bumping into things.
A movie that never quite comes to life, despite its title.
Slick and raunchy when it might have been grindingly realistic, "Viva" is finally all heart.
The story is slightly melodramatic, but director Paddy Breathnach finds ways to make it surprisingly moving at times, in the same way that he makes the Havana slums look paradoxically beautiful.
The lively setting helps, but the main attration here is the familiar story, which has been around forever and yet never gets old.
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