Movie Reviews

Review: 'Trash'

By Deborah WeeMovies - 01 January 2015 3:02 AM | Updated 4:42 PM

Review: 'Trash'

Our Rating

4/5 Stars

Pay no heed to this movie's seemingly unappealing title directed by Stephen Daldry ('Billy Elliot', 'The Hours').

For the most part, watching ‘Trash’ feels like a samba dance, and not just because the movie is set in Brazil.

On the surface, Daldry’s drama comes across as typical crime-solving material with strong anti-corruption messages, mixed with a Brazilian favela touch.

But ‘Trash’ is elevated to an enjoyable police chase, thanks to its up-tempo rhythm and the sheer charm of the charismatic trio at front and centre.

A BOYISH CHARM THAT SELLS

Teenager Raphael (Rickson Teves) lives in the slums of a corrupted Brazilian city and spends his days foraging through endless piles of rubbish. One day, the 14-year-old finds a wallet containing items that he eventually suspects to be clues. His curiosity is heightened when the police begin a desperate search for the wallet and offer a very generous reward for it.

Raphael then enlists the help of his friends, Gardo (Eduardo Luis) and Rato (Gabriel Weinstein) to investigate the wallet’s significance, plunging them into the shady world of politics and law enforcement.

The movie's most important asset is summed up in just three words; Raphael, Gardo and Rato. The three young Brazilian actors are stunning in their portrayal of struggle and friendship. They strike the right balance in presenting a precious youthfulness that endures despite the corruption and violence around them.

The characters may lack a backstory and development, but their boyishness and friendship quickly wins the hearts of the audience. You worry for the boys, particularly Raphael, and share their hatred for the police.

The determined trio are aided in their quest by an American priest and an aid worker, played by Charlie Sheen and Rooney Mara respectively, though their contribution to the plot is minimal.

Even without these Hollywood names supporting them, the three boys more than carry the movie on their own.

WEAK PLOT  

However, winning charisma and exciting action aside, ‘Trash’ falls short in moving its mystery and crime plotlines, offering up an anti-climatic resolution.



Given all the trouble the boys go through, at one point cracking codes as if in a Dan Brown novel, we expect the unravelling of the mystery to be more groundbreaking. But it is not to be.

‘Trash’ could have easily been a forgettable cliche, but a young and charismatic trio saves the day. So just enjoy the exhilarating zero-to-hero escapade and try not to feel let down by the conclusion.

'Trash' opens 1 January 2015

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Trash
  • Trash

    (2015)
  • Rated
    PG13 /
    Genre
    Drama
  • Language
    Eng / Port
  • (1 Review)