Trash (2014)

Having had a disappointing year thus far of watching movies – notwithstanding It Must Be Heaven (2019) – it’s time to recommend a sleeper that is worth watching.

Trash (2014) appeared unheralded on SBS last night and one hopes it becomes a staple of their On Demand library for some months to come.

It’s the story of two Rio de Janeiro boys Raphael (Rickson Tevis) and Gardo (Eduardo Luis) whose lives are spent gathering rubbish at the city’s dump. When one discovers a wallet, they enlist another trash gatherer, Rato (Gabriel Weinstein), to achieve the best value for its contents.

A drunken local priest (Martin Sheen) and fellow American teacher (Rooney Mara) also assist.


What none of them know is the wallet contains clues as to the whereabouts of bags of corrupted cash and a book detailing all the pay offs made and received by corrupt would-be mayor, Santos.

The police and one sinister agent in particular, Frederico (Selton Mello), are in desperate pursuit and the boys become suspicious when a large reward is offered to the person on the rubbish tip who finds the wallet.

Raphael knows the contents mean much more than just the small amount of cash they find within and his belief in doing what is right spurs him on.

An exciting keep in front of the bad guys pace ensues. The tale moves swiftly, cohesively, and was a pleasure to watch.

Directed by Stephen Daldry, whose debut film was Billy Elliot (2000), a standard bearer of its day which has since spawned an industry. Its brilliance has been shining on the stage throughout the 2000s and a production I saw in Melbourne, circa 2008, restored my faith in live theatre.

Daldry also directed The Hours (2002), The Reader (2008) and TV’s The Crown (2016-17 seasons).

Trash’s screenplay is provided by Richard Curtis of Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994) from a novel by Andy Mulligan.


Score: 4

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