Who on earth has a good Monday? Nobody. It was true for me whether its work or the 9th Chennai International Film Festival. Can you believe that I didn’t see a single movie on Monday? The only good thing I did was to attend the Chennai Film Forum on Critics. The discussion was moderated by Alphonse Roy with Suhasini, Madan and Baradwaj Rangan on panel. I will write about the panel discussion later
The Tuesday was better with 2 different genre of movies and the wonderful panel discussion chaired by Anurag Kashyap, Thiagarajan Kumaraja, Vetrimaran, Dharani and a guest appearance from Balaji Sakthivel. We will have a look at the movies first
A Man without a cell phone (Israel)
I don’t know how the directors from far east and middle east take the simplest of conflicts and make a wonderful plot out of it. A man without a cell phone is a story of a young man, who uses his mobile phone to find girl friends. His father believes that the cell phone tower erected in their village is giving out radiation that affects the farms around. He starts protesting against the cell phone tower. His son, who is initially against it but later becomes the main perpetrator in the protests. What happens to the cell phone tower is to be seen in the movie.
Sameh Zoabi has taken one of the simple conflicts that ensues in a small village when a cell phone tower is erected and weaves a wonderful plot around it. The simplistic linear narration, the satirical humor that runs all through the movie and sub text that touches upon the larger problem of Arabs in Israel makes you really enjoy the movie. Wonderfully acted, especially Salem ( hero’s father) is a treat to watch. Worth a watch. 7.5/10
Confession is a psychological thriller narrates the story of a mother who takes a different kind of revenge on her daughter’s killers. Yuko, a teacher in a junior high school finds that two of her students are behind her daughter’s death. They can’t be punished by the law as they are protected by the juvenile law. She takes a different route to avenge her daughter’s death. You have to watch the movie to find it as it’s quite complex
Confession challenges you from the moment it starts. You may find the director’s tactic of revealing the killers so early in the movie is unacceptable. But beware that he is actually sucking you in to the plot to surprise you at last. It’s one of the wonderfully shot movies and the final scene in which the time is reversed is just out of the world. The non-linear story telling technique and the extreme brutality will be little unsettling to the normal viewer. But Confession is a brilliant movie that’s enriched by the fantastic screenplay of Tetsuya Nakashima. 8/10 and a must watch for Confession
I was back at watching 4 movies as I used to do in the initial stages of the festival. I was very keen to watch The Conquest – a movie about Nikolas Sarkozy but I think the DVDs didn’t make it to the festival organizers. Twice it was cancelled and I have to find it in downloads.
Above us only Sky (Germany)
Anurag Kashyap mentioned about this movie in the Tuesday’s discussion and so it was the first movie I watched for the day in Studio 5. Above us only Sky is the story of Martha who finds her deceased husband is not the one he was. She starts a new relationship with Nino, who is almost like her husband and the story revolves how she copes up with her loss.
Jan Schomburg screenplay lacks the depth that’s expected out of the movie. The characters are too vague and lacks connection with the audience. The plot promises a lot but falls flat with the execution. 6/10
Orange Girl (Norway)
Orange Girl is a movie about how a son understands the love of his father. Georg gets three letters from his dad on his 16th birthday and after 10 years of his dad’s demise. The letters describe how Jan Olav ( Georg’s dad) met a Orange girl and the hopelessly fell in love. Georg finds the letters interesting because he goes through the same accidental encounters with Stella. Georg’s understanding of his father’s love and his love forms the crux of the story.
Orange girl is the movie for the hopeless romantic. The depiction of Jan Olav’s love and Georg’s encounters with Stella are lovable. The back and forth narration of Eva Dahr (Director) helps stories to be intertwined in avery interesting manner. The movie deals with the psychological aspects of every human’s encounter with death and also about the eternity of love. Orange Girl is an adaptation of a novel by Jostein Gaarder. 7/10 and it’s definitely a good watch.
Made in Poland (Poland)
Made in Poland is a story of Bogus, who had tattooed “Fuck Off” in his forehead and calls himself a revolutionist without knowing what he is revolting against. He breaks off cars and one of them owned by Mafia Boss. The Mafia guy beats him up asking for compensation. Bogus befriends a crippled guy (security of the car park) and falls in love with his sister. Bogus trying to identify what he is fighting for or against is the crux of the movie.
Directed by Przemyslaw Wojcieszek, the movie is shot in Black White with Red used occasionally to show the rage inside Bogus’ heart. The movie deals with the current transformational economic situation of Poland and how it affects the youth of the country. It’s an expressionist movie and so the audience have to be patient with the visuals shown. Another interesting aspect, the movie is taken in the video game format, if you look at it closely. 6/10
Les Acacias (Argentina)
The Latin American movies have this inherent quality of surprising the audience and Les Acacias does that once again. Ruben is a truck driver who is traveling from Paraguay to Buenos Aires. Jacinta with her 5 month old child joins the trip. The relationship that forms between the three forms the rest of the trip
Les Acacias is a road trip that you will take along with the three characters. Director Pablo Giorgelli makes you as a passenger along with the other three and the you understand the emotions of each although not spoken through words. If you don’t fall in love with little Anahi, you don’t have an heart. The biggest strength of the movie is the silence that allows you to introspect the characters. 7/10
Tomorrow will be the final day of the round up that will talk about the different aspects of the film festival. Wait for it 🙂