Friday, September 5, 2008

City of Men (2007) R - 3½ Stars

This movie starts out all over the place. It doesn't really tell you from the beginning why these certain men became the 'king of the hill." At first, it was hard for me to keep track of the players and who was in charge. But the more the movie played, the more the characters take shape and really the only two that you bond with in the end are the two best friends who almost get killed while caught up in the chaos.

In, Rio de Janeiro's poverty part of town, people fight to keep what's theirs and take what doesn't belong to them. Two friends are growing up just trying to keep from getting robbed or shot and make a quick buck however they can. Laranjinha "Wallace" (Darlan Cunha) and Acerola "Ace" (Douglas Silva) have a tightly knit friendship. Laranijinha drives a motorbike for money while Ace is a new father though not doing a very good job of it. He almost looses his son when he takes him to the beach, just so he can be involved with the crowd from the hill.

But conflict arises when Madrugadão "Midnight" (Jonathan Haagensen), finds his hill has been taken over but his right hand man Nefasto "Fasto" (Eduardo BR Piranha). Now people must decide which side to join, and the two friends find themselves almost on opposite sides. Both young boys have just turned 18. Wallace is trying to locate his father to use his name for his new ID card. But after meeting his dad, he is forced to choose between his best friend and the man responsible for Ace's fathers death. Turmoil erupts on the hill as the two sides battle for the right to claim the top of Pool Hall Hill.

Miramax Films
Director: Paulo Morelli
Writer: Elena Soarez
Producers: Andrea Barata Ribeiro, Paulo Morelli, Fernando Meirelles
I viewed 8/08

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