City of God (2002) – Brazilian

Alright! This movie is a decade old. And unfortunately I was never aware of this Brazilian jewel! Ayitha Ezhuthu by the genius Mani Ratnam looks strongly inspired from one aspect of this movie. The revolving scene around an accident in Ayitha Ezhuthu movie which was released in 2004 was the USP of the Mani Ratnam flick. But City of God released back in 2002 and it has such a revolving screenplay much more classier that gels more and is more invisible. Trust me Slumdog Millionaire is nothing compared to the expose’ in this movie.

The plot revolves around a bunch of kids who were notorious in the slum called ‘City of God’ in Brazil. These are the places that wont get covered in your places to visit nor a picture of their residents be published on Brazil post card which you can send it to your friends to claim ‘ From Brazil – with Love’! This is reality in its 50 feet depth of crap! These kids grow up to become what they always dreamed of. Girls, drugs, money and power!

Lil’Dice to Lil’Ze : What happens if you get access to a gun at the age of 10 ? You will probably be scared to even touch it. Not the case with the character named Lil’Dice in this movie. He turns a motel into a death rampage just to enjoy the sound of people dying. This was at the age of 10. Imagine what would happen when he turns 18. He changes his name from Lil’Dice to Lil’ze and hunts for power like a merciless creature.

Benny: This merciless creature in Lil’ze manages to find a good friend Benny. His friend Benny is a rational guy. He wants to dress like a playboy and is cool with young boys and girls. He wants to befriend them because its cool to hang out with a big group and also they are his customers. Who ever says they wont mix business with pleasure need to learn from this guy! Benny is my best character in this movie because there is a reformist angle on his side. He listens to his girl and wants to quit all this drugs business and killing for power. He wants to go and work in a farm like a true hippie.

Rocket: Every story needs a protagonist. Rocket is the character who uses his mind rather than trigger. There are several scenarios where he eventually wants to get dragged in the business of crime. However he is never capable of pulling the trigger. Instead he pulls the trigger in a camera. He has a passion for clicking pictures and this lands him in a job with a newspaper.

The opening scene where a chicken pisses in its pants looking at another chicken being be-headed, dressed and roasted is the scene where Brazilian movie universe is shouting out loud to the world saying they have arrived. In terms of Editing, in terms of cinematography, in terms of revolving parallel screenplay, in terms of exposing the drug mafia, in terms of displaying the gore, in terms of capturing gang wars on screen. Brazilian movie had indeed arrived since the movie was nominated for various awards mostly for direction and editing and it did walk away with quite a few awards at BAFTA , Toronto and NewYork critics circle !!

Its funny when Brazil can send such a slick and bold movie to the Academy awards in 2002, India sent DEVDAS in 2002. Nowhere in comparison !!

–Varun Mannava Gowtham.



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