REVIEW: Trash | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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fourDirector: Stephen Daldry

Starring: Rickson Tevez, Andre Ramiro, , Martin Sheen, Rooney Mara

Run Time: 114 mins

Certificate: 15


In the ultimate battle between morality and power, three green teens raised in the favelas of Brazil find themselves running from the country’s corrupt police force in a selfless bid to do what is right. At a time when it seems money makes the world go round, Trash introduces us to three poverty-stricken Brazilian boys and their fateful discovery of a dead man’s wallet in the rubbish tip where they work.

Director Stephen Daldry clearly has a keen eye for rising talent. After spotting Jamie Bell’s potential in his casting as Billy Elliot, Rickson Tevez (Raphael), Eduardo Luis (Gardo) and Gabriel Weinstein (Rato) just may be the Brazilian counterpart. Take your pick of the trio, they’re all excellent. The undeniable talent of these youngsters is what gives the film its attraction and appeal. With all the brotherhood of Stand by Me meeting the violence and dishonesty seen in City of God, Trash demands answers from a police force that have become above the law in their country.

Martin Sheen’s appearance as Father Juilliard is a welcome one, as the old priest acts as the much needed father figure to the youngsters and keeps them safe from the law long enough for them to make their escape. Rooney Mara’s portrayal NGO worker Olivia is, for all intents and purposes, a decent performance. However, the character itself seems a bit misplaced. The film would run the same course without Rooney Mara and though her English lesson help the children come one step closer to cracking the wallet’s code, her only real input into the film is her role as “the adult” in a film coming from a child’s point of view.

Selton Mello’s part as the slightly sadistic police officer Frederico, who hounds the boys persistently with no real knowledge as to how guilty or how innocent they may be, is an essential character to the story. The cruelty he exerts in his job seems to aptly sum up the message that the Brazilian police force is corrupt and innocent bystanders are unable to do a thing about it.

Close-ups and long held shots on the three boys encourage the audience to question their motives. Why put themselves through all of this? Why risk so much for a dead man’s mission? Simply, it aids in making the audience relate to the characters. When asked why they’re doing this, their response of “because it is right” helps to demonstrate that the boys must stand alone against the ceaseless corruption in Rio de Janiero. The same goes for Mello’s role as the police officer. However, questioning his motives goes unanswered as once again we hear the over told story that he’s working for a boss, a higher power who’s in it for the money.

POV shots work wonders in the heart of the action, particularly as chases draw to a close and answers are unearthed. Trash asks for your full attention and then some, as the fast-paced plotline runs to a Claudio Passavanti soundtrack and never lets up. From the discovery of the wallet to their mission to solve its clues, Raphael, Gardo and Rato have you on edge thinking all of their efforts to be heard will go to waste. In impoverished areas we don’t understand and under cruel regimes we don’t question, you never know what you mind find.

Trash is now showing at the Tyneside Cinema.

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