A nimble and spritely film filled with many moments of adventure and drama told in a breezy way. The story and setting stand apart from a lot of what has been released recently and as a huge fan of ‘City of God’ this movie presents that same kind of look and style, turning it into a pleasurable and well told cinema outing for myself.
Working on a waste site in Brazil Rio de Janeiro, Raphael (Rickson Teves) comes across a wallet full of money and other items that lead him to believe it best to keep. Bringing in friend Gardo (Eduardo Luis) and the assistance of sewer kid Rato (Gabriel Weinstein) the three boys need to stay one step ahead of nasty police head Frederico (Selton Mello) and find out the mystery of the wanted wallet.
Stephen Daldry directs this British/Brazilian film with a neat flair and puts across a heartwarming and vibrant tale that captures emotion and the theme of doing what is right with thanks to the writing brain of Richard Curtis. This notion of sticking to the law and seeking the right path is a lovely central story point to run with and it never feels tired even if a lot of movies do use this theme. Also the title itself of ‘Trash’ cleverly links in with the workplace of Gardo and Raphael, the brutal way police treat Brazilian kids and the manner of which some big amount of money is transferred. The direction slickly cuts together frames featuring the kids to past shots of the wallet owner in the same place, making the film feel smoother and putting the kids on the right track.
The way that a certain moment of horror is shown is moody and filmed in the dingy nighttime, cut fast and left to our imaginations as one of the young lads is subjected to masked torture in the back of a spinning cop car stands out as a big moment. It’s also something to point out that the film makes it clear Brazil has its issues, white figures in authority treating civilians like nothing and getting away with it. Including this scene hits that terrible truth home.
‘Trash’ never feels slow and the story is energetic and as we see Brazilian settings on screen, they’re presented by Adriano Goldman in a pacy way shining atmosphere over shots of the favelas, Rio streets or a certain key graveyard. The choice to feed in a smaller ratio frame of grainer video footage of the three boys accounting to camera gives the movie more of a real edge that work in agreeable favour with me. Though it is quite predictable that there will be some resemblance of a happy ending it isn’t so obvious to how that ending will come around so that’s nice to have.
Antonio Pinto’s score is pulsating and ties in with the breezy nature of the film’s vision. It’s a colourful and exotic sounding series of tracks that heighten the escapes of the kids or the whizzing edits of the film in general. Drum beats and steel sounding smacks whack through scenes with positive impact and help the adrenaline of the trio’s situation feel more racing.
All three of the actual Brazilian teens playing the boys on the run are sheer delights. Charismatic or being scamps they draw a smile or on the welcome flip side they showcase heavy emotion in the light of their injustice and in particular seeing their home burning. It’s also a nice point to have Martin Sheen and Rooney Mara appear as white faces that look out for the Brazilian people and are kind to their cause. The film could easily have painted a broad stroke of whites as the brutal forces but it doesn’t and that’s a good move.
Far from garbage this is a treat for the senses, loud and engaging and akin to the bright and bloody style of ‘City of God’ this film is an escaping fun and yet dramatic adventure in South America, forever lined with the factual message of people being the same and therefore should be treated as such.