Wednesday, 4 November 2009

City Of Men (2007) @ Cidade Dos Homens

At a glance:

To the first question of whether this 2007 favela flick is a sequel to Fernando Meirelles and Kátia Lund’s 2002 oft-reviewed City Of God, the answer is no. It's in fact a spinoff from a 2002 TV series of the same name, Cidade Dos Homens (City Of Men), which ran four seasons in Brazil. In addition to that, if you’re wonderin will the movie make sense without watchin the TV series, the prevailin opinion is that knowin the series will benefit the movie experience, since you’ll need to get familiar with the two main characters, Acerola (Douglas Silva) and Laranjinha (Darlan Cunha). There are flashbacks in the movie to scenes from the TV series. So for the uninitiated, the movie City Of Men is confusingly similar to City Of God, both bein comin-of-age crime dramas about two boys growin up in the Brazilian slums surrounded by machine guns, drugs and promiscuous sex.
Bad news on the doorstep:
Themes of friendship, abandonment and even family plannin are explored amidst the gritty day-to-day events that bind these boys. A soap-like backstory about their biological fathers also serve the final story well. However, despite tightly edited, City Of Men suffers the same drawbacks in City Of God - they simply have too much ground to cover. A sincere and earnest attempt to better tell the TV story is hampered by rushed endings and the tumultuous balance between emotional downtime and shootin chases. We can't possibly be allowed to savour the Rio slum details against such an epic drama with so many significant events happenin in quick succession.
Reminds me of:
The other favela flicks I know: City Of God, Lower City, Carandiru, Man Of The Year.
Watch out for:
Jonathan Haagensen gets the nod for the best performance, as gang head Midnight.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?Probably a better TV series than a movie. Two and a half stars.