Never Have I Ever Seen: City of God



Now’s probably a good time to say “I underestimated this task”. This film is in Portuguese (I knew that), with English subtitles (I knew that too, I’d be stuffed without them) which is fine by me. But it means I have to concentrate, so typing a commentary is tricky. Pause!

Character intros: Rocket is our narrator, he’s about 10? Shaggy, Clipper & Goose - the Tender Trio, late teens? Li’l Dice & Benny (Shaggy’s brother) about 10? Rocket is Goose’s brother.

We’re in the City of God, a place for the homeless and those cleared from the slums. Rows of hut like houses, unpaved roads, no electricity, no transport. And the Tender Trio, have just pulled an armed raid on a truck load of gas cylinders.

Li’l Dice is hanging around with the big boys, and he has a plan… The plan is to rob a motel. Well technically a motel, it’s lit up with red neon hearts. The big guys go in, wave their guns about and grab the money from anyone they can find, leaving Li’l Dice on lookout. He’s to shoot out a window if the cops come. They don’t but he does.

Whoa!! Split screen, the gang escape in a car, can’t find Li’l Dice, and everyone, really everyone, in the Motel is now dead! A massacre! Not the little guy surely? He didn’t do that? The police? The others didn’t, I know that.

The gang crash into a bar, owned by Shorty. Police turn up, but nobody’s seen anything. Shorty tells the police they’re hiding in the woods, but they can’t find them. We’re getting more of Shorty’s story later it seems.

Shaggy, not in the woods apparently, has found a house to hide in and has fallen for the girl that lives there. Clipper decides to go back to the church. Goose goes home, to an angry father, who insists he works with him selling fish. That’s them finished then.

As the police carry out daily raids & arrests in the slums, Shaggy does what he was named for. Nominative determinism I think it’s called. Goose also gets involved with a girl whilst on his fish selling round, it’s Shorty’s wife. This isn’t going to end well.

Goose, Shorty’s wife, a hot banana, Shorty with a shovel - I’ll not describe that one, you’ll need to watch. Goose splits. Shorty digs. Not good.

As the police are all over the place, Shaggy and girl make a run for it but Shorty, whilst being arrested, points him out, and he’s shot & killed. Emotional :-(