Two young boys growing up in the violent outskirts of Rio de Janeiro in the 1960s take different paths in life as they grow into men, as one becomes a photographer and the other dives into a dangerous criminal lifestyle.
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A Mean Streets for the 21st century, so its perhaps unsurprising that some have seen the "Scorsese problem" in it: that is, it's so in love with film style that it divorces itself from the very reality it hopes to document and becomes pure movie myth. But that's simplifying it more than a little, and as far as pure movie myths go, the last decade hasn't done much better.
I honestly think this is the film that fucked up my taste in films. (in a good way, I mean, to me anyways.) The film is well done and the filming is natural and the acting is well off fucking brilliant. I watched this in junior high and I keep on trying to find films like these. A classic for me.
A masterpiece or trite sensationalism of a culture over-intoxicated with flashy cinematic techniques rather than a heartfelt message? This problem undermines what I once thought was a great film and ended up dogging Meirelles’ later work. Even if I was to praise it for the technical mastery, the debt to Martin Scorsese is writ so large it consumes any sense of Meirelles making a film through his own vision.
A film like this is treading on dangerous territory, but not lightly as it should be. A few scenes resonate, but for the most part, this is a hyperstylized, overblown, film-for-film's sake exploitation of a painful issue.
This was a powerful re-enactment of a true story of the vicious cycle of the gangster lifestyle that is portrayed with haunting accuracy. Brutal. It's heart breaking to know that the societies can be really really messed up and many of them because of the reasons desperations of how they live below the lowest standards in a horrible conditions. It really hits me with a punch! If only these people had more options! :(
This is one of those films that reminds of why I love movies. So entertaining, passionate, raw, stylish, beautiful and least to say powerful . 130 minutes, but feels like no time passed at all. Makes me wanna stand on my seat and scream "I love cinema!"
The rise and fall of a lider. We could almost call him a benevolent despot. That's how he liked to see himself, after he came to power. At one point he says that crime has fallen (has stopped, according to him), since he rules, and he punishes severly small offenders. What hit me, in this film, is that he is, afterall, no different than any king, with his coup d'etats, high treason, bloody wars, rise to power...