Sunday, 1 February 2015

REVIEW - TRASH (STEPHEN DALDRY)


Trash is, in its constituent parts, by no means a mediocre movie; on balance, though, that's exactly what it is. Its finest facets never reaching the exuberant heights it strives for, its weakest never exerting the kind of disproportionately negative weight on the film as in some of director Stephen Daldry's former features (and writer Richard Curtis' too, for that matter), it's the disposable cinematic equivalent of an easy-listening record. Although Daldry displays little discernible flair, his artistic temperament possibly neutered by the dwindling critical success of his recent works, he handles Trash with skill throughout, broadly. This brand of inoffensive filmmaking can often, inadvertently, become offensive in its mere existence. Applied to tense sequences of foot chases and dramatic escapes, it's a strategy that's surprisingly inarguable. When Trash settles, though, it's preachy and ridiculous, populated by risible White Saviour characters and prone to crass sentimentalising, a tendency that both director and writer seem reluctant to discourage. They do better keeping this movie on its feet, to distract from the hideous contrivances apparently necessary to propel the plot (with such a simple plot, you'd think there'd be acceptable ways around such coincidental occurrences, but seemingly not). The socially-charged drama is crude and simplistic, and so overworked an angle you can only question the credibility of those who saw it a fitting component to any self-respecting film; the execution of the film's humble action and mystery elements, alongside some engaging performances from the youth cast, ensure that Trash doesn't quite live up (or down) to its name, no matter how hard it may try.