182: City of God

City of God (R) - 2002 - Runtime: 130 minutes
Starring: Alexandre Rodrigues, Douglas Silva, Leandro Firmino, Phellipe Haagensen
Director: Fernando Meirelles, Kátia Lund

I've always been told this was a great movie and I can't understand why I never picked this one up because not only is it a great movie, but it's one of the best foreign movies I've ever seen. In fact, I'd compare it closely to The Godfather. And while I like The Godfather, I love City of God. It's just such a good rags-to-riches tale about life in the street in South America and the cast of characters is awesome.

The story follows Buscapé, a teen living in the ghetto of Rio de Janeiro who aspires to be a great photographer. His life intersects with several others, pretty much all gang members who rise and fall over and over again. It's such a big tale and the cast is so large that it's hard to go into details about everything. Suffice to say, it's epic but has enough heart and character to make you feel like you're a part of Buscapé's life. He does narrate most of the movie and it works well because without it, you would get lost. But I never found myself checking Wikipedia to find out information about the story - it flows really well and even though it's over two hours, I was enthralled during the whole movie. I was captivated by the poverty that Buscapé came from and how he managed to pull himself out of the ghetto.

Like I said earlier, it's a great tale and the acting is phenomenal for pretty much a cast of new actors. Even the kid actors are great at portraying street kids who have no sense as to what's right and wrong. Like all good epic movies of the sort, there's some tragic moments that will make you tear up, while the triumphant scenes are just as moving. To say I loved this movie is an understatement. I'd like to see what the sequel has in store for these characters, but I'm sure it won't top this one, because what can?

Rating: Own It!

No comments: