[critical] Tropa de Elite (Elite Troop)

1997. The armed militias linked to drug trafficking, control the favelas of Rio. Plagued by corruption, police no longer intervenes on the ground. The elite forces of the BOPE (Battalion of special operations police) are delivered to themselves in their struggle without mercy against the traffickers. But the maintenance of order has a price : it is increasingly difficult to distinguish good from evil, to make the difference between the requirement of justice and the desire for revenge.

The Captain of the BOPE Nascimento is in the midst of a crisis : in addition to risking his life on the field, he must choose and train his successor, in the hope to leave this life of violence and to stay with his wife, who is about to give birth to their first child.

Neto and Matias, two of his recruits of the most recent, are childhood friends : one is an ace of the trigger, the other refuses to compromise on his ideals. Has the two of them, they would be perfect for the job. Separately, it is not sure that they can make a living…

Author’s Note


Release Date : 03 September 2008

Directed by José Padilha, James d’arcy

Movie brazilian

With Wagner Moura, Caio Junqueira, André Ramiro

Duration : 1h55min

Original title : Tropa de Elite

Trailer :

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Brazil, differently told by the carnival, the girls or the exotic, we is proposed by José Padilha and James d’arcy in Tropa de Elite. A dark universe is painted by the violence. Drug traffickers, corrupt police and a military unit fighting in the favelas of Rio. The film disturbs and gene by its explicit images, but it is never too much. Nothing is free : each injury evokes a reality.

If one side, the traffickers seem to be without heart, the viewer will quickly notice that the unit of maintenance of law and order (the BOPE) is even worse. To combat the drug-traffickers, the BOPE hits and kills without warning. The methods of the Captain of the unit, Nascimento (Wagner Moura) are sometimes difficult to bear: he regularly uses “the bag” : Smothered and strangled, this is, and are treated to the traffickers. Also he does not hesitate to go further in the torture sodomizing traffickers more silent with a mop handle.

Here we are then facing a Brazil pessimist who does not know of other solutions to tackle the gaps. The BOPE cannot be regarded as the cavalry. They are as dark as the traffickers. The viewer will not be able to actually choose his camp. The sensitivity and the fear of traffickers, juxtaposed with the aggressiveness of those who maintain the order. Good and evil are confused then. A mother mourns her son’s death due to an intervention of the BOPE, young students do not understand the excessive brutality of the unit, etc., This is the reality of Brazil.

The story begins in this context. Nascimento has to find his successor among new recruits to the BOPE. We dive into behind the scenes of this unit. Perhaps would we have preferred to ignore certain things. The intensity of the sequence of the stage of recruitment of the BOPE is maddening. To oust the weak or corrupt police, the trainees are continuously beaten, tortured, pushed to the limit. It is only after our soldiers-robots reveal their entire personality through a team of more united.

Strength and sensitivity of members of the BOPE are constantly put in opposition. The characters are terribly endearing. This fragility is suggested, the viewer becomes an accomplice of this life. How, then, do not feel uncomfortable ? The horror of this life surpasses all the world. Plans happen quickly, hand-held camera, the viewer does not notice that some bits of the nightmare. It may be thanks to the sounds… the sounds : gunshot, screams, footsteps on gravel, etc., The atmosphere is perfectly built. A masterpiece that deserves the prize of the Golden Bear at the Berlinale.

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