Sunday, May 13, 2007

City of God

Welcome to the City of God, where children smoke pot, bullets are the currency and the law is a joke. Hoodlums become leaders, guns are a necessity and robbery is the way of life although, apparently, the notion of life itself doesn't mean much in this city. Living here, you're as good as dead.

Paradoxically, in the City of God, evil prevails.

Narrated by Rocket, an aspiring hood whose dreams get him out of the ghetto and a job in photojournalism, the story draws the downfall of humanity through the lives of thugs and drug lords hungry for power and notoriety in this deadly favela of Rio de Janeiro. The evolution of the characters in this movie is always the same : young kids fascinated by small-time gangsters, start out as drug messengers, learn how to handle guns, and climb the ladder by committing murders, executing robberies and dealing drugs.

This movie is all about the truth. Of course, the idea of the world no longer being safe is not a novelty. Like any Hong Kong action movies, the City of God depicts a crime-infested world, a morbid culture of violence, and how poverty and corruption spawn destruction. However, the directors, Katia Lund and Fernando Meirelles know how to make this movie stand out by incorporating an almost flawless visual technique and a storytelling so graphic that watching this movie is a troubling experience.

Another thing that makes it special is that it puts the viewers inside every situation. It's like we're standing in the middle, watching every gunshot, every scream and every master psychopath at work. It makes us want to run for our lives, it makes us helpless, it creates a wanting to get the hell out of there and be as far away as we could. In the end, it makes us realise that violence is pointless and that we're lucky to only have seen all that on screen.

A hemophobic since I was a kid, I took four hours to finish watching this movie as the images of blood and death are peppered in every single scene. It's a powerful drama, but I'm not going to watch it again. Not in the near future, at least.

For those of you with a strong heart and a liking for sadism, this movie is going to be one of your favourites, I swear.

Oh and one more thing, it's in Brazilian Portuguese. Unless you speak the language, you'll be doing some reading for 124 minutes.


kalimullah said...

what do u mean "a liking for sadism"? enjoying a movie about murder doesn't mean you enjoy sadism. i haven't seen the movie though but it sounds interesting. i looked it up on imdb and its rating is quite high. interestingly, i've never heard of it.

TheBigKahuna said...

well, go and watch the movie and you'll know what i mean.

maberik said...

Mel Gibson's Apocalypto is 'sadism' in every sense of the word.

this one..i dont think so. the violence are 'necessary'. not as a form of mere 'pleasure', but rightfully as a 'cry for change'. the movie is a socio-political statement.

TheBigKahuna said...

well is it necessary? i don't know. to lengthen the film, maybe (as i found it reaaally long). blood spurting everywhere is not a pretty sight, and i can't imagine people being ok with that, unless they're sadists of some sort.

i haven't seen Apocalypto, neither am I looking forward to. after city of god, i'm looking for something less gory. home alone maybe?

fadz said...

laaa, budak takut gore rupanya...haikh, susah lah nak ajak tgk wayang macam ni...