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The Lady From The Shanghai Cinema Review

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Lucas (Fagundes), an estate agent, wanders into a cinema during a heatwave and picks up a mysterious woman (Proenca) who turns out to be married to an even more mysterious husband, who becomes one of Lucas' clients. It is an association which drags him i

★★★★★

South American movies often turn out to be a pleasurable surprise. Unfortunately, however, this is not one of them. Although writer-director Prado is nothing if not ambitious with his attempt to manufacture a latterday film noir, the plot is even more difficult to decipher than that of The Maltese Falcon and, to make things worse, the intention seems to be to create a pastiche of the Raymond Chandler school of thriller but Prado simply isn't clever enough to pull it off.

The protagonist is Lucas (Fagundes), an estate agent, who wanders into a cinema during a heatwave and picks up a mysterious woman (Proenca) who turns out to be married to an even more mysterious husband. He becomes a client of Lucas who, meanwhile, has a torrid affair with the wife. It is an association which drags him into a web of deceit, a stew of corruption and a spiral of violence, leading to all sorts of cliched happenings which soon become incomprehensible to the point of boredom. Our hero then becomes a sort of Philip Marlowe figure in an attempt to clear himself of murder and save his skin.

The odd intriguing idea does occasionally surface here, there is a certain atmosphere conveyed from time to time and the opening sequence in the cinema is simply terrific. Unfortunately, that only makes what follows all the more of a major letdown.

The odd intriguing idea does occasionally surface here, there is a certain atmosphere conveyed from time to time and the opening sequence in the cinema is simply terrific. Unfortunately, that only makes what follows all the more of a major letdown.

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