Sunday, 10 October 2010

City of God Review

 City of God

First review for me so let's hope it goes well, I think I'll outline how these reviews for me will work.

Firstly;

I will give out a link to the film's IMDB page (if it has one), detail some of the directors/actors and some of their notable previous works or upcoming projects.

Secondly;

I will give a very brief synopsis of the film, and don't worry the whole review on this page will be completely spoiler free, sort of like giving out a trailer to the film, but in awesome text form.

Thirdly;

This will be the actual review of the film, featuring dry sarcastic remarks and in jokes between my friends and I. Hopefully after reading it you'll have a good idea about what the film is without spoiling any of the actual storyline.

Well, it's time to start where all good journeys begin, at the beginning.

City of God


City of God or Cidade de Deus in it's own language or Portuguese is directed by Fernando Meirelles, who is one of my favourite directors constantly keeping the film going with unique and fresh ideas and camera angles to keep the audience's mind awake so they can enjoy all that he offers.

As far as I can see on IMDB, these actors are mostly unknowns and some of them actually live in the real City of God. This adds to the power of the characters, they are all incredibly believable, probably because they can draw parallels from the film and their own life.

That doesn't stop it from telling a brilliant storyline showed quite spectacularly through the eyes of Rocket, the films main character.

Synopsis
The film tells quite possibly one of the most thrilling stories in film, but it's one that on first viewing it confuses a large amount of people. The best way to stop that is to remember the face and name of everyone you see. This is a film that shows the life of “Rocket”, a poor boy who lives in the slums. It showcases where he lives, both in the geographical terms but also in the theological terms, he lives in the City of God. A slum or Favela not far from Rio de Janeiro, Rocket lives in the 1960's at the start of the film and continues throughout his life up until the 1980's. It's a time where drugs are in fashion and to get a hold of them you do anything. Growing up Rocket has a brother who is in a small time gang called the “Tender Trio”, they steal gas canisters from trucks to provide them to the poor locals, sort of like Brazilian Robin Hoods, but instead of bows they use guns. They are very small time gang members, but one of them has an idea, a plan, the film is the journey of that plan and the destructive power it has.

Review

City of God is like a Brazilian Goodfellas”- Said one reviewer, I disagree, mainly because this film is actually good. I'll leave the hatred of Goodfellas for another time, but I see where they can draw similarities they both show a passage of time inside and outside gangs. Personally I draw one big difference, I like this film, I liked the characters you are meant to like but more importantly I hated the characters you are meant to hate and this is what City of God is all about, the difference between two characters Rocket and L'il Dice. However, that's what makes it spectacular, such a small beginning point but one that slowly unravels over the course of the 130 total running time into one hell of a fast-paced, fresh film. I can't help but think that this has something to do with the power of Meirelles, he knows that in films pacing can just obliterate a movie and that's what he keeps constant. He makes it not feel like a chore watching it, which is something I can't say about some of the films influence. I mean, City of God has a resemblance to Pulp Fiction with the chapters and uber-strong characters and superb scripting (even though City of God has many points that were in fact unscripted), the frame stops when Rocket takes pictures with his fabled camera is also Tarentino's editing style.

That's a nice little segway into the editing to be fair, the editing in this film is superb, once again keeping the overall sense of crispness and pacing up. Just because it has all this art style shots and editing doesn't stop it from being enjoyed by everyone, it has a fair amount of action in it, large amounts of suspense, even more amounts of drama and guess what?

Even more amounts of awesome, that's what.

In all honesty, it's not only one of the best foreign films I've seen, but by far the best film I've seen from Brazil. It's also one of the best films I've ever seen, without a doubt and full stop. It just continues to amaze and entertain throughout, there is not one thing I can really complain about this film, except possibly that it's too short and everything seems to happen at the end a little bit to quickly. Not much of a criticism there though, but the film has made such a vibrant and dangerously exciting world that I want to carry on watching it, definitely a film that lingers on in your mind for the coming days and weeks. Especially those last 5 words that pop up at the very end, it's a beautiful and harrowing ordeal of a movie, kind of like being brutally beaten up by a rainbow...or drowning in a marshmallow. Joking aside, there is something in this film for everyone, from the film buffs that will watch this film repeatedly to pull apart little details scattered throughout to the ones who just want to be entertained on a Saturday night. Don't let the metaphors of rainbows and clouds fool you though, City of God certainly deserves an 18 rating.


I guess my final thoughts and comments are that this film is like bacon, I've never met anyone who doesn't like it.



Except Vegans and Vegetarians, but they don't count, right?
A.Dean

29 comments:

  1. One of my favorite 5 movies! EVER!

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  2. i hear this was a good movie

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  3. It is indeed a very interesting film and book.

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  4. Nice
    http://kevininplace.blogspot.com/

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  5. Well might watch it hope it has a good hook

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  6. Nice review, check out some of mine if you want.

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  7. i like youre reviews, now i want to see more!

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  8. This is a truly great film.

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  9. Hey there, If u liked City of God I am more than sure you will like the movie I wrote about in my No. 002 post.

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  10. kind of annoyed me that the entire movie was in subs but good none the less

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  11. Awesome movie, and great review

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  12. Sweet.
    I'll defo watch this tonight!

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  13. it doesnt look like something i'd enjoy

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  14. I havent seen this movie ill have to check it out

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  15. Ye nice film ! And thanks for the review

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  16. On my top ten list at the moment. Awesome review.

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  17. I personally enjoyed this movie. Amazing review, looking forward to more!

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  18. Just wanted to say thank you to everyone for the fantastic comments, if any of you still follow this blog, we will be bringing more content on a much more regular basis.

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