Eu Tu Eles

Eu Tu Eles


Reviewed by: Nicola Osborne

If you find domestic harmony a challenge, try imagining being Darlene, the heroine of Eu Tu Eles who accidentally creates a situation where she has to keep the peace between herself, her three husbands and four children...

Opening with Darlene (an utterly glowing Regina Case) leaving home to give birth to her first child, she returns several years later to find things dramatically changed in her tiny rural community. When an affluent neighbour offers her his home in exchange for marrying him she gamely decides that it's not an entirely bad idea. How is she to know that her new husband is the laziest man on earth?

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Between running their home and farmstead (and flirting with the farmhands), taking care of her child and doing seriously heavy labour in the fields at harvest time, Darlene gradually builds up a friendship with her husband's cousin. This develops into romantic companionship when he has to move in with the couple, only for their bond to break down when Darlene invites a young laborer home for dinner one night...

Case's performance as Darlene emphasises her attraction as the ultimate strong, proud, fertile mother earth figure. With a gorgeously disarming smile and pillowy bosom, she radiates compassion and sensual and sexual possibility. The three husbands, all being drawn in by their connections with very different parts of this amazing personality, complement each other perfectly.

They also provide many very funny and touching moments as they learn that they will have to live with one another in order to be with Darlene. The children, though omnipresent, are not heavily involved individually. However, they are crucial to the developing story and turn in fine performances.

Since almost all of the action takes place at the homestead in an extremely remote area, the characters live outside the normal boundaries of acceptability, morality and social conditioning and, though the possibility that "people may talk" is mentioned briefly, they are also well outside the scope of local gossip.

This context greatly increases the credibility of this unique tale and Waddington uses this in the way that he refuses to pass judgement on his characters' behavior. The location also means beautiful shots of the area's arid conditions including the constant elements of deep red mud, dusty yellow ground and crystal clear blue skies creating a bright and vital mood.

The music, a sensitive combination of upbeat local music and a subtle score, helps keep a lively pulse to the slow, sympathetic and non-invasive camerawork. The combination of elements makes this a lyrical and very human comic drama.

Reviewed on: 19 Jan 2001
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A woman has to keep the peace between her three hubbies and four kids.
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Director: Andrucha Waddington

Writer: Elena Soarez

Starring: Regina Case, Lima Duarte, Stenio Garcia, Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos, Nilda Spencer

Year: 2000

Runtime: 104 minutes

Country: Brazil


EIFF 2000

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