Plot-This film centers around the corruption of the police and politicians in Rio, and the effects it has on the lower class or slums. It shows in detail how it works and how the politicians are involved, taking advantage of the corrupt system. When the dirty cops can no longer profit on the drug dealers, they go into the slums and bully the people and make every aspect of their life profitable for them. This film while claiming to be fiction, seems a little more realistic than it admits to being. This is directed by Jose Padilha who is behind the upcoming Robocop reboot and screenplay is by Braulio Mantovani, the writer of City of God.
Review-This film is built on a premise that a lot of people should take to heart, how can you support something that you do not fully believe in. This film illustrates first hand how politicians and dirty cops use slums (or poverty areas) as their central targets. If you can get those people to vote for you or pay you for services or security, you have the majority vote and can make a lot of money. This film shows a rogue group of dirty cops and politicians who are dead set on controlling the western district of Rio, so much dead set that they even strong arm the Tangue police force in masks and steal all their weapons to make the police in that area powerless, just like the people that they have strong armed. This film is message heavy from the first ten minutes of the film, when you have 3 rival gangs all locked up in the same prison on different wings, and so happens one gang, The Reds, get a hold of some guns and instead of trying to escape, decide to hold hostages and kill the other two groups of gang members. The dirty cops well aware of everything but figure let the gangs kill each other, less for them to do. Even when a human rights leader is sent in to make peace, you just know that it will not end nicely for anyone in that situation. Then these same dirty cops convince people that the drug dealers in Tangue robbed the police station and stole all the guns. This way, the dirty cops can sit back and watch people die and have no blood on their hands.
The majority of this film is told thru narration of main character Lieutenant-Colonel Roberto Nascimento and the film is in subtitles. He is blind at first as to what is happening but soon thru Human Right Aids member Diogo Fraga, he starts to open his eyes more and more, as to what is going on and how he can try and stop it.
This film felt like a true horror film. Instead of a monster or boogeyman, this film dealt with a evil that is killing all of us..politics. This film shows you the smiling face on tv with the empty promises he makes, but then pulls the curtain back and shows us what he does to keep that face smiling and what methods he uses to make sure he is re-elected. This film was violent, the message was loud in a rain of bullets and dying. This film felt like a cry for help, a plea to be heard. This film is edge of your seat, a social war roller coaster which was a nailbiting fucking brutal film. Now going into this film, I never seen the original Elite Squad, and Jose told me I did not need to, so with this review I cannot tell you if it was better, worst, equal or greater than the first one, but I know this..this film should have been on the Oscar Ballot. Amazing script, every character in this film felt like both a victim and victimizer. You had Roberto and his struggle with what is going on around him work wise, and then personal wise, trying to connect with his son. You had Fraga who is so dead set to expose Rio and its’ dirt. The line in this film is so blurred at times that you never really know who really is out for the good of Rio and who is plainly out for themselves and their agendas.
All in all, this film is a must watch and should be watched by anyone who is not sure where America may be heading..this film is an alarming call to both arms and also a plea that we should not be so willing to sit back and let people think and talk for us, that maybe we should stand up and open our mouths.
10 out of 10