Trash  (2014)    56/100

Rating :   56/100                                                                     114 Min        15

Mainly in Portuguese with English subtitles and slightly living up to its name, this is directed by Stephen Daldry (‘Billy Elliot’ 2000, ‘The Hours’ 02, ‘The Reader’ 08) who oddly appears to very much be trying to mimic the style of Danny Boyle with the editing, choices of colour scheme and the high tempo music used to tie the threads of the story together. Written by Richard Curtis (whose last effort was ‘About Time‘), and based on the 2010 novel by Andy Mulligan, the plot follows the exploits of three young boys in the slums of Rio de Janeiro who stumble upon a wallet in the city trash one day, a wallet that holds the vital clue to the location of a huge stash of money. Corrupt city police are also hot on the trail and soon find themselves chasing after the streetwise youngsters in a sort of ‘Slumdog Goonies’ escapade, although it doesn’t ever feel very realistic, nor tense, and indeed the ability of the three central characters to make us feel for them varies as much as the acting between them does. The corrupt officers are so bad as to make them pantomime villains, and it all culminates in a scene that will leave you thinking ‘you seriously didn’t just do that. I’m so annoyed right now’. Martin Sheen plays the priest trying to look after the shantytown district the boys live in, and rather strangely Rooney Mara plays the Westerner doing a spot of travel and teaching English but her part is so, well, pointless that you have to wonder why Curtis bothered with it in the first place, unless he just figured a pretty white girl was needed in there somewhere …

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