Monday, January 30, 2017

The Measure of a Man (2015) France

A tale of the modern day job hunt.






Original title:
La loi du Marché (French)


Genre:
Drama.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     French films are the second most I watched apart from the English language films. It's mainly because of the quality of their products. They won't put big sum on some superhero film like the Hollywood, they give preference to storytelling and the characters which I love even in a slow pace narration. Anyway, you would be tired of listening to what I'm going to say that I always love French and Japanese films, mostly the drama films. This is the latest one I saw that I did not think of giving it a try after the average reception, but once I watched I realised how much underrated the film was.

     This is like another 'Two Days, One Night', but a bit touch of 'The Pursuit of Happyness' with the limited sentiments. There's no comparison with any other titles, except the similarity in themes. You can call it a docudrama, because it was very realistic that you won't feel like you are watching a film. Especially not for an entertainment purpose. If you are so, then stop there and try other flick. This could resemble your life, at least some way if you ever struggled to get an employment after getting released from the previous job. I am not talking about the freshers or the youngsters, but in between the jobs, mostly the middle-aged and less qualified men's perspective.

     The modern world belongs to the young blood. Being somewhat old and not skilled with today's technologies is a big excuse to exclude from the employment world. That leaves to get one from the smaller wages. Such film is this one which focused on the man called Thierry who was looking for any job for the last two years. His family is small with a wife and a handicapped son. Financially struggling Thierry decides to get a loan from the bank and try to sell his mobile home to meet the expenses. Finally, he ends up in a supermarket as a security guard and follows his new way of struggle against the reality of the world where crime and compassion overlap.

 A shoplifter has no age or colour.
Everybody is a potential shoplifter. 

     I was desperately looking for some entertainment to relax after the tired day. I jumped on this, and initially it took time to launch into the main storyline. It begins with Thierry having conversation with his old colleagues about the options and if there is any legal solution for his old job. This is the film where pictures, as well as lines carefully watched and listened respectively to understand the intention of such film to be exist. The every word spoken in the film were not like any other films, but it was like real life dialogues between two or more people that we the audience listening them from somewhere around the corner. That's why I compared it with documentary.

     This is the third film for Vincent Lindon with the director and the best one.  The last time I saw him was in the 'Bastards' that I did not like. Surely the best of him after 'Welcome'. He won a few best actor awards for his role in this film, including one at the 2015 Cannes. The film was all about him. He as Theirry was the soul of the film. People start to recognise the actors since they saw them in one of their best performances and now I for Vincent Lindon through this film.

     Obviously very slow at the beginning, but once you start to feel you know enough about Thierry, it gets more interesting. Particularly the final act was impressive. It points out how narrowly our society was built where you can't escape the disappointment if you are a sensitive person about the actions that entirely depends on the situation whether its good (empathy) or bad (crime). This film is everything. You can call it a self-discovery or truth finder, but well detailed about the modern day job hunt by an average person. Even if he gets one, does it stand up to his moral dimensions? Because some people mind what they are doing, even though getting it after a desperate attempt.

     Like I said I saw it in a wrong circumstance, but I did not fail to recognise fineness of it. This is one of the best drama films I have seen, especially in the recent times. If you are looking for a realistic portrayal film, this is the one. It might be an under-noticed film today, but the time will come when people look back on this decade for how the lives and society evolved, then this little precious film will impact greater which depicted exactly what's happening right now. What I meant was some films are not meant for the present, despite all the films are made for the present!!!



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


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


Similar movies:
Two Days One Night, Erin Brockovich, The Pursuit of Happyness, Sunshine Cleaning, The Internship.


External link(s):



WCA geolocation:
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Friday, January 27, 2017

The Summer of Sangaile (2015) Lithuania, France, Holland

A comet in the snow.






Original title:
Sangailės Vasara (Lithuanian)


Genre:
Drama, Romance.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     It can't get any more beautiful than this. I have seen many lesbian films, but this one was like a result of when a poet and an artist comes together. It was so poetic, as well as an enchanting video portrait. Not everything in the film was pleasant, I mean not the romance parts, but you know self hurting parts as one got depressed in their life. That's where it all begins, an awesomely written screenplay where most of the film remains dialogueless. All you have to do is sit back and enjoy the stunning cinematography and a cute little romance the blends with that.

     This is a Lithuanian film, but internationally co-produced. It won some awards at the various film festivals. It was officially selected as the Lithuanian entry for the 88th American Academy Awards, but did not make it. Written and directed by a woman filmmaker and this is her second feature film. I hope she makes more films like this with characters with emotions, then she will be in my watch out list. There's no comparable with any other lesbian film as many people doing. This is a very unique, especially in the storytelling segment. Most importantly, anybody with no objection on some sex-romance will do understand and appreciated the artistic presenstation of this film.

     The title itself a plotline. So you know the storyline, but for how it all happens need to be watched. Sangaile is in her summer holiday, spending time with her parents in a rural villa. Near the house, there's an airfield where some spectacular display taking place, she instantly falls in love with that. That's where she meets a girl named Auste, who seems very interested in her. So later they decide to hang out and do the stuffs. After a few meets, with ups and downs, there relationship intensely grows, but how far it goes and how the story ends was told in the remaining parts.

 You know nobody will understand you better than me. 

     Not the entire film is about the romance that jumps into the bed. There are some messages, like how one influence the other one to change her character. Like depressed and lost, and got no idea about the future, a new hope rises like a sun for the new day after a long winter. The romance between two different social classes and their field of interest, all those fills the film on all the sides with its own colours like a Rubik's cube. The other advantage was the greatly ignoring the common cliches, especially from a lesbian film aspect.

     Films are collections of many things. From the actors to filmmakers to technicians and locations, when these all get together accurately, a beautiful product like this emerges. That's where it succeeded. First the actors, everyone, but the majority of the tale focused between the two characters and those two were brilliant. They executed so perfectly as it was real. You won't get that kind of great chemistry in all the romance film you watch. There are many moments that feels like it was paused, in a good sense as a romantic, as well as visually.

     Then comes the locations. As it is set in the rural, they explored the landscapes excellently. They were not intended to give preferences on those, but while capturing the film scenes, they used some interesting angles to get those beautiful backgrounds. As I said earlier, the images talk more than the film characters. The music score was also very good. The overall film looks like a touch of the 60s or 70s, but there's no any clarifications about the timeline. Seeing the lifestyle, all the gadgets et cetera, it is obviously a modern day tale.

     Observe everything carefully in the film. The film characters, the story, as well as production design was very simple. Like they did not spend much for making it. Yet it delivered big. Sadly, this is not a well recognised film, not much from LGBT film fanatic friends as well. I haven't seen many Lithuanian films, but surely this is one of the best from that region I have seen. You know who's the target audience for this, but the film is too good, so I hope you make a right choice. Though it is for adults, there's nothing much serious to consider in the romance/sex/nudity parts, so the matured and open minded teens can try this. Recommended!



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


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


Similar movies:
Water Lilies, Mosquita y Mari, Freeheld, The Way He Looks, Carol, Blue is the Warmest Color.


External link(s):



WCA geolocation:
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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

I Am Bolt (2016) UK

A thunderBOLT that struck from Jamaica.






Genre:
Documentary, Biography, Sport.


Length:
Approximately 6-minute read.


Review:
     I saw him on the television during the Beijing Olympic games and then in London, followed by in Rio. When I first came to know him in Beijing games, I thought he was a one-timer, but then during the London games, from the commentators to everyone who are familiar with his sport had great expectation on him and he delivered it. Finally, in Rio, I prepared for the historic occasion and so did it again for the last time. I am talking about the fastest man alive, Usain Bolt. It's great to be born in this generation to witness such a great achievement. If not from the arena, at least from the live telecast. I have seen and still seeing many legends from other sports and Bolt is one of them.

     This Jamaican sprinter is like a thunderbolt that struck in the last three summer Olympic games creating a new history. In each Olympic games, he had grabbed three gold medals. Now he's off the track and enjoying the normal life. But the film was focused to tell his rise and reign for the nearly fifteen years of his career. It all began in the Junior championship from the school days and since then he never looked back, but left behind the records the others to fetch. Especially, he still holds the world record for 100m in 9.58 seconds. By seeing his achievements, you might expect a coach who trained him would be like the one from 'Whiplash'. I was surprised to see a simple man behind him, as well as his friend-come-manager and all the other people around him.

     I did not know they were making a documentary about him. I only came to know just a week before watching it. I have seen some good sports documentaries, so I anticipated something extraordinary clips and inspiration. It is inspiring, good for young sports enthusiasts who wants to make big in their field. To be honest I was a bit disappointed with this film. This is not I was looking for. This looked more like a reality show. So I won't blame entirely on the filmmakers for failing to give the best product. Because I knew Bolt as a sportsman, but never knew him as a person, his character and all. He's a fun type. Seriously, I did not expect that.

 All the way from Beijing to London and now to Rio. It is one of the greatest athletic achievements of all time. 

     He worked hard for what he's now, but at a time he's so fun. Enjoys his game, life, that's what you learn the most about him if you already know him as a sportsperson. Particularly a clip from the film about a cameraman who crashed on him proves he a temperless. I could not stop from laughing at it and so he was. They have interviewed some big names from other sports. They all talked about their special friendship with him and his talent. I am really upset for not interviewing one of his close friends and a countryman, Christopher Henry Gayle. They both are common in one thing, that's the number 333. You will understand what that means if you know them both from their sports.

     One of the main issues was the film terribly lacks with the original clips or the photographs from his life. Everything about him on the track were perfectly aligned, other than that the rest of them were exclusively shot for the film like a feature film, including the interviews. So the recreation of those recollects were not that effective to blend with the story. Also a bit falls off the track with too much of off the track focus, but it's not boring, totally fun to watch such person. That's why even it is stretched to nearly two hours, it does not feel like a drag.

     After every win, he celebrates with his 'lightning bolt' pose. As his name, as his record talks, that is the defining moment. The Jamaican medal tally might dip from the next Olympic games since he got retired. But his nation will be remembered for him forever. It is a good documentary film, but should have been great. Now I am thinking about a feature film and I hope somebody would make it in the near future. I recommend this, but keep your expectations low if you already know much about him. But for others, it will make a bigger impact.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


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


Similar movies:
Fire in Babylon, Seve The Movie, Eddie the Eagle, Rush, Race, Pawn Sacrifice.


External link(s):



WCA geolocation:
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Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Man Called Ove (2015) Sweden

The life after the loved one departed.






Original title:
En man som heter Ove (Swedish)


Genre:
Comedy, Drama.


Length:
Approximately 5-minute read.


Review:
     This is a Swedish film based on the book of the same name. It is sent to represent the nation at the 2017 Oscars and as for now, it made into the December shortlist. This is the tale of an old grumpy man and the life after the death of his wife. That would be a toughest phase of life for anybody. I am sure you had seen many films like this, but this one was slightly different, yet totally convincing on every topic it focused on. So funny, at a time meaningful and emotional, particularly how the tale ends.

     In a small township, a 59 year old man called Ove lived most of his life and now he decides to take his life. But the attempt was prevented when a new lousy neighbour arrives and so it keep delays further. Now's the time to reveal all the reasons behind his dreadful decision with lots of flashbacks and current affairs. That he's a nightmare in his neigbourhood to those who break the rules. He's not a friendly type, because of his childhood and the lessons he learnt from his father to face the life as tough it gets.

     The only friend he ever had did not last for a long. His wife was his world and then the job at the railway. The narration given a good enough focus on his romance life. His younger version, played by another actor reveals particularly the initial stage like how he had met her. I don't know these actors, but they all were so good. A perfect setting as well for the story to take place. I think the filmmakers did lots of best decisions and in the end it all paid off with a greater recognition in the international level.

 Honesty is the best thing, Ove.
But sometimes honesty needs a little help. 

     A heartwarming comedy-drama for all age groups. I was looking for such a film and I realised only after watching it. The character Ove was designed awesomely and all the story events built around him was excellent. Covered most of the topics like friendship, love, neighbours, job, moral values, even the pet animals. Loads of fun, guaranteed entertainment if you are seeking a comedy film. As Ove was portrayed very seriously, all his actions, especially the newly arrived woman make major difference to end the film most comedic way.

     The regularly visiting his wife's grave, the film beautifully gives an insight on the life of Ove being a widower and a retiree. But also how it all turns around for him who never laughs and finally he does, was the film's highlight. Like I always say, I'm not a book person, but I love watching films based on the good books like this one. An awesome adaptation and I hope those who loved the book, as well enjoyed the film.

     Usually all the good films run nearly or over two hours. Because of the slow and steady developments in its characters and the story. For this film, you won't notice the time. The pace of the narration, including the loveable characters and the storyline makes you forget everything else. In a few days the 89th American Academy Awards nominees will be announced and I am sure it will make. Looks like this year, three Scandinavian films going to make the noise at the Oscars. In the meantime, I hint you not to miss it, either it wins or lose, it is one of the best films of the year around the world.



Suitable for:
Tween, Teen, Adult, All


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


Similar movies:
Gran Torino, And So it Goes, Roald Dahl's Esio Trot, My Old Lady, Mr. Holmes.


External link(s):



WCA geolocation:
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