Good movies, but not ones you will watch again

DAY 2: Miracles to rib-tickling funny, to serious and gory... a mixed bag of films were unveiled on the second day of the festival.

entertainment Updated: Oct 25, 2010 15:27 IST
Hindustan Times

Film review: October (Peru-Venezuela-Spain)
Director: Daniel Vega, Diego Vega

Niyati Joshi

You either like a movie or you don’t. With October, I’m still making up my mind. Or rather, it’s a movie I don’t want to dislike. Set in Lima, Peru, amidst staunch believers of Jesus Christ and one of his miraculous paintings, October narrates the tale of a pawnbroker’s son, Clemente, and his life during the holy month October, when processions are carried out in the streets. The tagline says, “Miracles come TRUE in October”, and, as the movie ends, you wonder about Clemente’s experiences during that one apparently miraculous month.

Every character in the film looks out for their miracle (and even manages some). All except Clemente because there is no such thing as a miracle for him. Everything for him is a simple transaction. And it’s his way of life. And anyone can guess what happens when a baby arrives to disrupt this scene.

There are a lot of absurdities but they won’t really bother you because of the excellent characterisation. But the constant religious references are something that put me off. The things happening in Clemente’s life are trivialised, just because they happen in October. It might as well have happened any other time, but placing the film in October gives it a head start.

The film barely uses any sort of extra sound to film other than that ambient. Be it the voice of the crickets in the night or the October procession, the film’s sound has been meticulously designed.

Watching October was a bit like watching All The President’s Men. I enjoyed the movie after it finished — and as it settled in, I appreciated its little nuances. It’s definitely worth a watch.

The writer is part of the Mumbai Film Festival's (MAMI) Young Critics' Programme, an initiative of HT Cafe

Film review: Ha Ha Ha (Korea)
Directed by: HONG Sangsoo

Chirag H Thakkar

The film is a side-splitting conversation between Jo Moon-Kyeong (Kim Sang Kyung), a filmmaker and his friend Bang Joong-sik (Yoon Jun Sang), a film critic over ‘cups’ of drinks. Even though the title suggests that it is a comic caper, this isn’t exactly a Hangover or a Hera Pheri that will instantly have you laughing out loud.

Kyeong and Joong Sik recount their experiences about meeting the same people and having similar experiences. They end up bonding over endless ‘cups of alcohol’ and keep chanting ‘Cheers’. It’s a story where booze and love are the lead characters.

The female protagonist adds more humour. You will wait for her absurd answers and lines that give her an edge over others in the film. In a scene where she finds out that her poet boyfriend is cheating on her, she doesn’t slap him or break into a monologue, instead she piggybacks him in the middle of the street and walks away.

There are moments where you can’t help but laugh over the simplest lines and their timing. A must watch, till then cheers and Hahaha!

The writer is part of the Mumbai Film Festival's (MAMI) Young Critics’ Programme, an initiative of HT Cafe

Film review:R (Denmark)
Directed by: Michael Noer and Tobias Lindholm

Arundhati Chatterjee

Set in a Danish prison, the film tells the story of a prisoner, Rune and his relationship with his fellow inmates. Some time into the film, the focus shifts from Rune, the protagonist-so-far to another inmate, Rashid. That quite didn’t work, because after that, the
negative character, Rashid, suddenly became the hero.

The director, Michael Noer, has employed real life former prison dwellers and guards as the cast. The real casting adds that-much-needed poise to the film. Even the scene where Rashid meets his mother and breaks down infront of her explores the humane nature of a criminal.

The movie is not extraordinary in any sense as even in the past there have been way too many prison dramas depicting life behind the bars. This one is no different from the ones seen in this genre and creates no special impact whatsoever. Still, R is a great one-time watch.

The writer is part of the Mumbai Film Festival's (MAMI) Young Critics' Programme, an initiative of HT Cafe

First Published: Oct 25, 2010 13:28 IST