Tuesday, September 20, 2005

City of God

(I started typing this as I was watching the movie last night. I'd pause, switch over to the blog and type some comments. This explains the disjointed nature of the post . . . mostly random thoughts. NOTE: if you haven't seen the movie and don't want any hints, suggestions, inklings of the story, stop reading now.)

What strikes me about "City of God" as I am watching it is the darkness of the jungle scenes and the settlement at night. I realize that there is no electricity in this place and that helps me realize that this place is so far away from my life and what I know.

As I watched the story of "The Tender Trio" I kept seeing myself draw parallels to "The Godfather" and how that movie uses flashbacks with Robert DeNiro to tell the story of the rise of Don Corleone. Now, I don't think that there is anyone "rising" in the slums of Rio de Janeiro, but seeing the three young street thugs try to scam their way out of the City of God just brought that to mind.

The whole parallel with "The Godfather" just got stronger as I watched L'il Ze begin to rise in the underworld of drugs, killing other dealers as he goes. (Please note that I am not faulting "City of God" for these parallels. These crime themes are somewhat universal, I guess. It's not surprising that I would try to make a connection between a foreign film and one that I have seen before. The mind loves to make patterns and connections between things.

The final parallel between the two movies was surely L'il Ze's fate in the alley at the end of the movie. Strong connections to Sonny Corleone's death.

All in all, a very good, arresting movie. It's visual style is very strong and the story is good as well. It is worth all the hype.


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