Last Stop 174 (Ultima Parada 174) (3 stars)

Last Stop 174 (Ultima Parada 174)

(18) 110min
(Bright Spark)

Following on and taking it’s lead from Jose Padilha 2002 documentary Bus 174 this Brazilian film fictionalizes the story of former street kid Sandro do Nascimento who hijacked a public bus in Rio De Janeiro in 2000. By opening the story out to follow the lives of two orphans who struggle through a life of homelessness, crime and betrayal that hurtles towards tragic inevitability, director Bruno Barreto’s film bears obvious comparison to City of God (one made stronger by both films sharing the same writer, Braulio Mantovini).

The cast are astounding – doubly impressive, considering many were culled from the streets themselves. Inspired more by the post war Italian neorealist cinema than the spate of recent favela thrillers, tricks of editing or camerawork are forgone in favour of showing the obvious clash between the grim reality of the shanty towns and the sun-drenched beaches of Copacabana. The dialogue could be sharper, as it occasionally seems clichéd, although this could just be an issue with subtitles – but the actors, for their part, never falter. No extras.

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