What kind of Men can be bestowed possession to God's mightiness - "City Of Men" a movie review

Sean_VictorydawnStarred Page By Sean_Victorydawn, 24th Nov 2013 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/154mjc3g/
Posted in Wikinut>Reviews>Film & TV>Crime

Some people live for a better and easier life, some live for a better and easier death. In this film adaptation of Brazilian TV-series "Cidade Dos Homens(2002)" a crime tale delivers us the epilogue and previous times of "City of God(Cidade de Deus)". In other words Fernando Meirelles's City of God is the continuation of City of Men.

Dysfunctional Families give rise to Social Disasters

A flip-flop in dramatical stance and rather slow-paced introduction to the back alley gangs of Rio de Janeiro as opposed to both the first film City of God(2002) and the TV-series Cidade Dos Homens(2002) welcomes us for a long, boring, a why-should-I-care kind of opening. If you can keep your patience as much as a film critic can, you'll get to find an emotional story with light-hearted and joyful heroes who are driven into crime due to the poor and illiterate society they grow within.

When they find themselves grown up, they realize that the town they are living is separate from the world outside. Their families are torn apart, schools are on strike, communities are swept by crime. They know that they are not meant to grow up like gentlemen. So they start seeking something different to find the meaning of life. In this aspect there has been a great deal of discussion going on among movie fans in Brazil, between the accurateness of Tv-series and the film. In the film the central characters leave their town to look for their fathers, whereas in the original Tv-series this isn't quite related to the characters' actual journeys(*1).

Who should you trust the most?

a) Your friends you grew up with for over 10 years
b) Your father who has left you when you were born and hasn't come back ever since
c) Your pistol which is loyal to you as long as it has bullets in it

As the story progresses through an 18-year-old kid's look of life, he aims seeking his father who has left home when he was born. The kid reveals what his mother and siblings always hid from him. His father has been a criminal and currently is a fugitive. Now the kid's self-journey starts, as he imagines his father being a hero. Throughout his journey he will become what he imagined of his father to be like. We see this on effect as he starts to take care of his younger brothers and his new-born child. In Rio de Janeiro taking care of someone means you're guarding them. So the answer is C.

The plot is in the hands of an adapted TV-screenplay which is inadequate to be relevant. On the plot point that the story starts to evolve around its characters, a long-time friendship between two old muckers comes to an end. A shot in the head terminates this friendship, despite how much the two friends needed each other to survive against all odds. Later on, in order to possess a hill with a good scenic sea view, we see how easily brothers can fall out with each other for injunctive power and authority over their own neighbourhood. Falling into clatters of people defending their personal thoughts is the lowest quality in this film. We never find out the truth which side is right, which side is not; and there is no clarity. Afterwards it turns very predictable.

In this social dilemma story model, personal desires shouldn't have been set at this much priority. Easy revenges are turned into vendettas. Nothing discussed in this film can stand as a strong reason for drug traffickers battling with each other and creating more violence when the police arrive. Years after the film's release similar events took place in Brazil this time in real-life. The police are said to have abandoned the shantytowns that has ringed the city’s wealthier neighborhoods, following a policy more than an enforcement. This respond of the police force has caused drug traffickers to create strongholds where violence is pervasive(*2).

Considering this is an indie film that has a production budget of only few hundred grands, it is important for the viewer to keep in mind that there aren't much action scenes or many different locations. While a little dispute turns a war, our central characters decide to escape to peaceful lands taking an infant boy with them. Hence the results of the battle of gangs remain in question. Once he has already seen the grim face of the war, will Baby Clayton ever stop crying?

Cihan Vercan

Sources of references and external links

(*1 imdb discussion boards http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0364801/board/thread/23063477 )
(*2 similar real-life event at New York Times new http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/21/world/americas/21rio.html?th&emc=th&_r=0 )
( and my previous review of this film on IMDB written after first watch:
http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0870090/reviews-13 )


Based On Tv Series, Drug Abuse, Drug Traffic, Rio De Janeiro, Search For Birth Father

Meet the author

author avatar Sean_Victorydawn
Cihan, mid-senior level experienced publicist and production coordinator, works for the local Ottawa media production company Victorydawn Pictures since 2012.

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author avatar Fern Mc Costigan
10th Dec 2013 (#)

Nice post

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