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article imageReview: ‘Trash’ not just home video refuse

By Sarah Gopaul     Feb 14, 2012 in Entertainment
‘Trash’ is a French-Canadian film about a not-so romantic Montreal plagued by crime and one man’s determination to turn things around in his neighbourhood. It’s available on DVD Feb. 14.
Trash (Décharge), in the context of this film, takes on two meanings. It refers to the literal discarded items sent to the dump; as well as people discarded by society. Both are key influences on the protagonist of the story, but lead him in very different directions.
Pierre (David Boutin) is a husband and father of three. He owns a small garbage collection company, with which he remains actively involved by servicing routes with his best friend who drives while Pierre collects the bags. One night, while trying to rid the neighborhood of its criminal element, he comes across Ève (Sophie Desmarais) - nearly unconscious in an alley after getting high. Unable to stop thinking about her, he seeks her out again and offers her help. However, his charity becomes an obsession that jeopardizes the life he worked so hard to build.
It's an interesting story that does a good job juxtaposing the two representations of trash with which it deals. Images of drug dealers, homeless people and prostitutes are often paired with scenes of garbage collection. It also cleverly incorporates a flashback that reveals an important part of Pierre's history without being too obvious about its significance.
The movie feels slow even though there are constantly new developments within the story and for the characters. However, they don’t all peak at the highest or lowest levels, which means it can feel like they lack significance or as if little is happening. This is the consequence of a narrative that is telling an intricate story that is more realistic than it is sensational.
Pierre essentially begins to live a double life. The public Pierre attends to his family, tells his children bedtime stories and runs a successful business. His secret persona spends time with a prostitute, beats up delinquents and hides narcotics. Eventually the wall between the two breaks down and his baser actions begin to impact his comfortable existence.
Trash is about a man burdened by an invisible debt, trying to repay it by making someone else’s situation better. But his inexperience allows him to be sucked into the darkness instead, and he must find his way out again.
Director: Benoît Pilon
Starring: David Boutin, Isabel Richer and Sophie Desmarais
There are no special features. (Entertainment One)
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