"Trash" is an unexpectedly interesting foreign film whose story is twofold: its unique crime storyline keeps us on edge while serving as an expose into the difficult lifestyle for the poverty stricken people of Brazil. It is far fetched at times but never goes beyond a reasonable stretch of the imagination. It may seem odd to have a Portuguese cast alongside Martin Sheen and Rooney Mara, but it makes sense within the context of the story. These stars are actually outshined by their Brazilian costars, Selton Mello (the corrupt cop) and Rickson Tevez (Raphael). These actors provide the emotional intensity the drives the entire film. There is no weak spot amongst the deep cast of foreign actors. The story is fairly predictable yet satisfying in that we encounter a few surprises but everything is resolved in a familiar way. I appreciate the theme of doing what is right no matter what it takes. Most of us would take the reward and avoid conflict but the moral compass of these characters is inspiring. I didn't appreciate the portrayal of the missionary priest as a swearing alcoholic. I understand that the character needs to be rough around the edges to make a difference in the slums but the character would have been much better if he was a saint at his core and chose to get his hands dirty when necessary. Beyond the acting, the film is beautifully filmed as a travelogue of the varying socioeconomic areas of Rio de Jeneiro. "Trash" isn't the greatest crime adventure that you will ever see but if you enjoy the genre, you will be very happy with the way that it plays out.
[Pictured: The inclusion of interview segments creates an interesting stylistic feel while fitting perfectly into the plot]