Tuesday, December 14, 2010

DIFF 7 – Day 2 Roundup

13th December 2010 (Day #2)

Day 2 of the festival featured two movies, one each from either side of the Atlantic. The first, although quite acclaimed, did not impress me much. The second movie helped bring balance to the day.

When We Leave (Die Fremde)
Aladag | Germany | 2010.
119 min

When We Leave is a laboriously paced German movie about one Turkish-German woman's struggle for her freedom to live a peaceful life with her son, away from the cruelty of her husband and her own family. Unfortunately, the makers of the movie did not have much more than this central idea to work on, and hence resort to a deluge of predictable clichés. The struggle of Umay, the protagonist, is justified by having all supporting characters of Turkish ethnicity act with unbelievable malice towards her. This does the reverse of its intent: instead of sympathizing with Umay, it creates a curiosity to the kind of community and ethnicity she belongs to. Even with its over-the-top finale, the movie tries too hard to succeed, and fails miserably.

The Company Men
John Wells | U.S.A. | 2010
109 min

Focusing on senior executives who lost jobs due to the financial recession, The Company Men is an engaging contemporary drama that snuggles in that comfortable spot between being preachy and being grim. When pride deflates, reality sneaks in and effects men in different ways. The movie delves into this theme, exploring the lives of three victims of downsizing – Ben Affleck, Tommy Lee Jones and Chris Cooper. Effectively showing what men go through when they not only lose their job, but are not able to find a new one, it also provide that kindle of hope that such depressing times require. Riding on good performances by Affleck and Jones, The Company Men is a strong debut by John Wells.

Day 3 promises to be busy, with at least four movies scheduled to be watched, all from Asia or Africa. Stay around, as I continue my journey around World Cinema.

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