Often thought of as a place of sunshine and carnivals, the second largest city in Brazil, Rio de Janeiro, sprawls over thousands of square kilometres and has an underbelly where both poverty and corruption are rife.
Set in a lakeside favela, Trash tells the story of three young friends who stumble across the evidence of a huge political conspiracy whilst foraging in a landfill.
After having made his name with 2000’s Billy Elliot, director Stephen Daldry is no stranger to creating uplifting films that revolve around children and Trash plays out as somewhat of a Brazilian answer to Slumdog Millionaire.
Daldry coaxes fantastic performances from his three child actors – none of whom had acted before – and the great onscreen relationship between the trio generates an infectious energy as they bound around the city in unflinching pursuit of what is right, even when they find themselves in direct danger.
Films about social injustices often struggle with a happy ending and therefore the resolution that is tacked on at the end of Trash does feel slightly forced. This though, is the only thing that marks this film out as a Hollywood production and does not detract from the film as a whole.
Temporarily paralysed while recovering from a car accident that claimed the lives of her boyfriend and unborn child, Jessabelle (Sarah Snook) returns to the Louisiana family home in a wheelchair to recover. Staying in her dead mother’s old room, she soon begins to experience supernatural events and it becomes clear that there is a presence in the house that does not want her to leave – ever. Relying on a slow and creeping dread as opposed to in-your-face brutal scares, Jessabelle is pleasantly uncomfortable viewing, just as a horror should be.
After being released from prison, Charlie Rankin (Stephen Dorff) finds himself indebted to a shady crime boss known only as “The Buddha” (Willem Dafoe). In payment for his debt, Rankin is expected to eliminate a target identified by The Buddha. But when the hit goes wrong and a witness is left alive, the brooding Rankin decides to flee with the streetwise Florence Jane (Michelle Monaghan), setting out on a road trip towards an uncertain resolution. This attempt at a noir thriller is stylish, but ultimately lacks substance.
Two vulnerable children are adopted by Bhaiyaji (Govinda) and brought up as trained killers. Everything in life is progressing as it should do until one of the men, Dev (Ranveer Singh), is introduced to the free spirited Disha (Parineeti Chopra) and falls in love. The trouble comes when Bhaiyaji refuses to accept the relationship between the pair.