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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Aquarius (2016) Brasil, France

Home is where all the memories preserved.






Genre:
Drama.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     I have to start the review by mentioning the recent year Russian film 'Durak', also known as 'The Fool' in English. In the same year, another similar themed Russian film, 'Leviathan' got nominated for the Oscars. What those both films highlighted were not just the corruptions, but the threats the common people face. Raising voice for good against evil is still a distant for such potential country. Here comes the Brasilian version. This is not on the same level. I meant the intensity of the event, how all folds. Nevertheless, the same core issue in a different continent.

     This film met with several controversies. One of them omitted it from the Oscars race. But the film was received well from all the quarters. I did not find any issue. I thought it became unfortunate victim, especially, could be because of the developers and their connection with the corrupt powerful men. It's neither a masterpiece. I just consider it a good film. A message film. But not for everyone. Particularly, it is good for grownups viewing for the reason I'll going mention later.

     The story of the 65 year old Clara. Her life has been successful being a music critic. Now a widow, and all her children settled down. It opened on her birthday where all the friends and family gathered to celebrate the occasion. Living alone in a small and beautiful beach view apartment. But the thing is she's the last one who still in that old building. Everyone had left it when the developers decided to demolish it and build a modern one. She's fighting to save the heritage. All her memories lie in there. But the developers have a different plan to force her out, and that's the remaining film to unfold how and other following developments.

 So when you like it, it's 'vintage'. If you don't like it, it's 'old'. Right? 

     The opening scene was a slight offbeat. Because right away it does not reveal who is the person of the film. Besides, some of the odd scenes in the middle would raise some eyebrows. Those were not actually the full fledged scenes, but glimpses that goes back to like the 70s or something. The idea of those parts were not properly understandable, but I think it is about missing those good times. The lone fighter concept was inspiring. At one point, when everybody around her thought that she's making an unnecessary scene out of it, she was firm on her decision and did what has to be done.

     This was one of those films I did not like it on the spot. But slowly captivated. Once it's focus was fixed on one particular character, the rest of the tale set forward on what it wanted to tell us. As I understood it, it was not exactly about corruption, except a part of it was. It was the fight for ones right. A fight to save the past. On the other hand, the people from her opposite are ready to take extreme steps to defeat her. That's where it gets into the controversy. The controversy of those stupid tricks used to achieve the goal. This kind of a film coming from Brasil is really wonderful to educate poor knowledge people who easily become victims in a similar fashion.

     It was a French-Brasil collaboration film. I'm reviewing it after a couple of days of my watch. Because I wanted to think about it for a while, scene by scene. The more I recall, the more I'm starting to like it. So I advise same to you as well that don't come to any conclusion just after you have watched. Because it could not be what you have heard about it. My only issue was the runtime. The 150 minutes were a too long. But manageable if you watch regularly, such slow films.

     Well written, directed and acted. Even the location was ideal. But they could have avoided the those sex scenes which I earlier labelled them as odd scenes. There were too many, even camera pans out from somewhere far away in the bush. Kind of unrelated. I am not against such an idea, as human daily life filled with those. But when the theme was seriously pivoting on a serious issue, these came as distraction. Why I'm pointing out that strongly is that a fine film like this should be for all ages, even for teenagers. It missed that opportunity. Otherwise and still a nice drama film to recommend the adults.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
A Man Called Ove, My Old Lady, Leviathan, Durak, I Daniel Blake, That Evening Sun.


External link(s):



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Sunday, October 15, 2017

Irreplaceable (2016) France

A medicine tale.






Original title:
Médecin de Campagne (French)


Genre:
Drama.


Length:
Approximately 4-minute read.


Review:
     The lives of doctors. Most of the film covered from the professional aspect and between two. A junior and a senior doctor. When I decided to watch it, I anticipated either fun or an inspiring film. But it was like too serious and a casual storyline. I mean it could have been a documentary, but the presentation was clearly a cinematic. Then all cinemas need a writing, so does it. More like from someone's real life experience. It had the ingredients, but everything was straightforward without twist and turn.

     If you consider the story progressing to the next level is a twist or turn, then the film had a few of those often. Though they are not effective as what a viewer actually meant a real twist in the storytelling. Nowadays, twist means a mind blowing development/scene. The characters were well designed. Between the main two, the narration keeps hopping, revealing their lives as doctors, especially in the rural. There's more to it, that theirs commitments and differences within their passion for their work.

     A single doctor who has been dedicated all his life to the poor patients from the rural, now discovered he has a brain tumour. He begins his treatment right away, but he was advised to retire and rest. That's where a junior doctor comes in. His replacement. The two work together, where she learns all his patients, but it was not a smooth ride. Since he's not happy to be replaced, particularly his patients are unique, their different style of treating the patients brings a crack in the relationship even before they had one.

 What I call nature may be something else for believers. But don't tell me nature is beautiful. 

     One thing that unites them is the medicine. Despite the differences, they make their best effort to contribute from their field of expertise. They are the best doctors, but joining the hand at the wrong time is what the English translated title meant. That's almost the entire story of it. Along with their struggle in the rural settings like it be commuting from place to place, at day and night, whenever the service required.

     The film justifies on the roles it focused on than the concept it deals with. So most of those who watches it won't say they saw a very good film. Even me too felt that way. That does not mean it was bad flick. Some people surely would enjoy it being as it is. I think the real doctors or their friends and families and patients, to see their similar experiences on the screen. What I had liked was, highlighting the work ethic between the rural and the city doctor. It was like a two different world.

     I have rated it better, because of the quality of the content than what I wanted to have a nice time. Besides, it's almost free of cliches. Like no romance, no medical miracles or the unexpected subplot developed to brighten up the narration in places. That kept me going. Like I have already mentioned, it was practically a documentary feature, with a cinematic experience.

     The trivia say, it was made by a doctor turned filmmaker. So what do you expect from such director. His previous flick too was about the same theme. Usually when such films are made, the writers, director do research for depicting the contents perfectly. That has not required here. Nicely made film, but not for everyone. One of the under-noticed film, and that's reasonable for such a film, but bashing it even after watching it like what illiterates does. So watch it and respect it or else do not think about it.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
The Innocent, Concussion, You Don't Know Jack, The Attack, Patch Adams.


External link(s):



WCA geolocation:
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Thursday, October 12, 2017

Two Lovers and a Bear (2016) Canada

The young arctic couple and their adventure.






Genre:
Adventure, Drama, Romance.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     It was another film about life in the Arctic. That's wrong! Surely it sets in the Canadian Arctic region, but it was much more than a simple drama. As the story progress, you would come to know the depth of the film. It does not expand, but the characters become stronger. With unexpected twists and turns, the narration heads to the other end.

     From the director of 'War Witch' that nominated for the Oscars. What you learn from the title is about three persons, but there's a fourth. The father of one of the lovers. Except in the initial stage, the film is all about them. The young couple in a remote frozen town begins to witness their relationship breaking away because of one of them leaving the town very soon. With a brief breakup, they mend it up and then decides to face any obstacle together. Hence the adventure begins.

     The financially struggling couple, plans to overcome the situation by taking the snowmobile to reach their destination. It was not an ordinary road trip you had seen in other films. In a vast deserted land, you never know what might happen any time. Till now it was a casual drama like that happen in anybody's life. But their trip brings to the film a different tone. The adventure with a little thrill. When they are about to catch in an unforeseen blizzard, they take a shelter in an unusual place. After that, everything is about to change for them forever.

     There's nothing is the story. It was like someone's real life who are in the relationship and their daily activity. But the adventure changes everything. A perfect atmosphere to give away the secrets. Most of you would have already guessed it, though what it reveal, the way it reveals was good. Makes sense, every doubtful event that occurred before. But it was not designed to keep everything suspenseful for its viewers. So that makes us acceptable the film being what it is.

 If you hurt yourself, you hurt me. 

     Indie films are commonly small budget, but it was good enough to enjoy quality. It was not anything about the environmental issue or the Arctic people's struggle. It was just a young lovers tale. Once I have got confused between literal and metaphor, what the film is actually trying to tell. With being a bear on one side and a trouble giving father another, I anticipated some kind of brief flashback to explain the stuffs. But that was never required once it opened up all in a straightforward narration.

     This is a beautifully written film. For a small film, they really had some tough time shooting in a tough conditions. The locations were breathtaking. Especially in the second half. In those parts, many scenes were totally unexpected, contrast to the first half you have got used to. That change makes the film very interesting.

     Apart the overall film, the end was decent. I don't think everybody would be happy with that. Even I was not sure, I'd liked the film or not after seeing that kind of conclusion. Something is sure that it might not be a perfect cinematic end as we're used to, definitely that's one of the possibilities in real life. If the end would have been compromised to satisfy its viewers, then the result too would have been much better. But I think the unusual and unexpected ending is much better than a cliche, any time.

     Both the lead actors, Dane DeHaan and Tatiana Maslany were very good. The characters were not challenging, but the performing in the given tough conditions were. The entire film was about them, where the other characters come only for a very brief. It is worth a watch for them, despite it might not be their career best. They are being a couple on the screen is what striking the most. Because what you had thought about them, against the transformation of their roles in the next half, spices up the story.

     I have heard that they had used the real bear. I wondered how they did it being made on a tight budget. Simple and cutely done. Initially I thought it could be a fantasy. But that's the point the story had to hold back for the later part. This is one of those films gone unnoticed. Not every film has to be top notch. Telling the same story in a different atmosphere using its resources could work out sometime. Whatever. The film was not the bad for why it was ignored so far since its release. People not aware of its existence could be the reason and turning it down after seeing low rating. But I think if you are looking for a refresher from the regular cinema, this is the one to go for.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
Chloe and Theo, The Grey, Siberia Monamour, How I Ended This Summer, Frozen River.


External link(s):



WCA geolocation:
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Monday, October 9, 2017

Paterson (2016) US, Germany, France

A week with a bus driver, a part time poet.






Genre:
Comedy, Drama, Romance.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     The time Jim Jarmusch has struck back. He does not make films often, but those he makes are not easily forgettable. I don't think people hate his films, especially the grown ups. They know how hard the real life is and contents this filmmaker use for his flicks are not much different. But the thing is, in his style, adding a slight fun, romantic, poetic, all together works so well. I still remember how I become his fan after watching 'Stranger Than Paradise'.

     As usual, he wrote the story for this film. Even if he had to borrow from another source, the screenplay is generally his. For this film, it was original and that's what worked out awesomely. But he had to borrow some poems from his favourite poet, Ron Padgett. A great team work, because when their work came together, the film became a masterpiece. It was nothing less than any literature, for sure. Definitely this film should turn into a book. The readers deserve their own imagination of this tale.

     This is the story of a man's life in a week's time. Starts from Monday and ends on next Monday. So, his name's Paterson, a bus driver from the city of Paterson. A happily married man, and love his profession. In the meantime, he's a poet. He has kept a book where he writes his poems, especially during his lunch time, even in the small breaks when he gets. His mind's always filled with thoughts. Chanting words, verses.

     His inspirations are the places he goes through his bus and the strangers who ride in his bus. Their each others conversation about their lives and experiences is his motivation. His wife is an interesting character too. Sadly, she was not focused as much as he was. Though there are enough scenes to enjoy the role. But I think she deserves her solo film, from another angle, about her life,  her hobby which her husband backs.

     It's a simple, normal life. Without much trouble, a peaceful life the most people would ask for. The film is not everything about him. But he's the centre of the story. When other, one time characters enter the screen. It's because of his presence around them. Hence some interesting facts revealed. Just like our life when we ride a public transport where we come in to contact with many passengers coming and going in different stops. But all the above, what they talk, which we, everybody in the bus listen without hesitation. Paterson is a person who learns every day out of that.

 Poetry in translation is like taking a shower with a raincoat on. 

     His other activity is walking his dog out at every night. It's an opportunity for him to mix with some friends at the pub he had made with frequent visits. The place which has its own story as the film progresses. So all these stuffs keeps repeating every day like what we call a mechanical life. But Paterson is neither enjoying it nor depressed over. He usually does best out of the given time and place. The difference is, not every day are same. Even a slight change in order of activity brings a new thing in. His wife insists him to publish his works. But the narration strikes with an unexpected twist before the end.

     I have said many times when I liked the films I have watched that they are so poetic. But it's very rare to find a film from top to bottom being very poetic. Recently I saw one, in fact, two from Japan known as 'Little Forest' duology. And now this one. Particularly if you love poetry or if you are yourself a poet, then this is a must see. Surely you would love it. As well as a good film to gift to any such person you know in your life. Believe me, this film is like a wine bottle. As it gets older, it will turn the best. I have already changed my stance twice and rated better every time. I consider it is a bit low rated right now. But only time will answer to that.

     For me, it is the director's top 3 films. I have seen Adam Driver in many films, he's not considered a solo lead actor, because of marketing purpose. But he's really good which proved in this flick. So it is his best performance I have seen so far. He really took the driving classes to learn drive the bus to perfect his character. That's the dedication the creator of the film expects from his cast. How much I loved it means, I'm eager for a sequel, despite knowing this kind of films are one-off. Otherwise, I'll be happy if the director and him join the hands once more time for a new project.

     Very slow moving tale. But not a boring film. If I had watched it when I was a teenager, I don't think I would have felt similarly. From middle aged people to the older ones, they are the target audience. In order to see and feel what this film reveals, one must have experience in real life. Hence, not all the youngsters, particularly the teenagers would thumb up. In my world, this kind of films is the Oscar worthy. I would have surely nominated the film, as well as the director and the lead actor. So by now you would have learnt what my final word could be. Recommended!



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


Final verdict:
Ignore, Bad, Average, Good, Excellent


Similar movies:
All Jim Jarmusch Films, Little Forest, Midnight Diner, Sweet Bean, Departures, Mr Church.


External link(s):



WCA geolocation:
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