There is no room for comparison with other brazilian films that are far superior and accurate when it comes to depicting the social matters in Brazil but it's still a decent effort. While centering the plot on these three kids and seeing through their eyes we get glimpses of today's Brazilian social issues (the poverty, police brutality, corruption). The foreign 'good guys' are there just by pure condescension.
Here's the thing about Brazil and the US. In the former, bribes are illegal. In the latter, they are protected as "freedom of speech". Really: Americans call them "donations". Consider this: 158 families have provided nearly half of the early money for efforts to buy the next president. So, both countries are corrupted plutocracies, but here a "gringo" plays the role of the good hearted missionary. Trash indeed.
It depends which angle you're coming from as to whether this film is seen as a success or failure as per other comments. An enjoyable drama in the favelas with it's vivid sound and colour. Corruption is rife and the impoverished always have the hardest fight for justice.
It's no Slumdog Millionaire or City of God, but it holds a clear and sensitive message that is worth every moment of your attention! It would be great to see Stephen Daldry and Richard Curtis do more together!
Based from Andy Mulligan's novel of the same title. "Trash" was exciting from start to finish. Nothing to criticize here, just standout story-telling, interesting characters, great entertainment. The main characters here are the boys. Rooney Mara and Martin Sheen takes the backseat, and are really just supporting actors for these kids. They're an impressive bunch. I genuinely enjoyed every bit of it.