“Chance is the greatest criminal to ever roam the Earth”
Review by Lewis Goodall
Haod osifie rod idbeisokd jneiidn ixjbr fers ppdnek dishes soofns spoo lsllnsi shhs be iifnr back just jsjskkeb jfnoe sjso udhhhh mxhsidb iris kdk lfppdp opsite isnd jje assume isksmen idiwn dido kxooo isiaal ndjaj lapp isiuhn naosofn.
What you read just then is exactly the noises the gears in my brain where making when I was trying to understand what on Earth was happening in We Are The Flesh.
We Are The Flesh, directed by Emiliano Rocha Minter, is a hard one to paraphrase but I’m gonna do my best. Two teenagers, wandering an apocalyptic city stumble across a ragged man living on his own. In exchange for food, the teenagers help the man build a comfortable cave for them all to live in. As the solitude starts to affect them all, they all begin to embrace their darkest desires.
Call me old fashioned but I always like a bit of story. A story that you can interpret yourself but ultimately a story you can follow, for example, Black Swan. Having every single aspect of your story be confusing, thats when things getting a little scue whiff for me.
Aside from the first 20 minutes or so, this film is essentially tame porn. It had an interesting take on a sex scene when it went from normal camera to a hear signature, which I thought was pretty well done but I was a little caught off guard with the 20 second long up close shot of a ladies twinkle lips and then followed by another 20 second close up of a man’s baby sludge cannon. Just not what I was expecting.
Ill give this film this. It was shot very well. I really appreciated the style of this film with its interesting cameras movements and general colour scheme, for example, the heat signature sex scene, I thought that was very well done. But the style just isn’t consistent with the story. Its one of those very artsy films that let’s you interpret its own way. It does give a bit of context with the final shots but other than that you’re on your own in this jungle of nonsense and orgies.
If it looks like I’m trying to sell you this film, I’m not. The fact that it was just all over the place and nothing really made sense just didn’t sit right. By all means if you’re curious at the amount of random sex and floor pissing there is in this film then you go ahead. I just feel that there are much better artsy films out there than this.
Overall this film wouldv’e done well with a different writer but with the same director. The director clearly has skill and knows what he wants out of a shot, I just can’t get behind the matter that was being shown because it was just nonsense at points. Like I say, if you want to see a man being born from a wall, be my guest.
“Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep and you weep alone”
Review by Lewis Goodall
OldBoy… more like OHBoy….. thank you that’s my time, I’ll be here twice a week.
OldBoy, Directed by Chan-wook Park, is one of the finest mystery films I have ever seen. Kidnapped and Imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-su (Min-sik Choi) is released with no clue as to who imprisoned him and why. He then finds out that he has only 5 days to work out the mystery behind his imprisonment.
This film took my brain and rung it out like a soggy tea towel in the best way. I’m honestly still recovering from this absolute masterpiece of cinema. I believe the story is based off a comic but what an incredible story. This is how mystery stories need to be told. At the beginning I was confused at hell but that’s exactly how you’re supposed to feel (I hope). You’re in the same shoes as Oh Dae-su. Why is this man In this cell? Who is keeping him there? WHATS GOING ON?! But as Oh Dae-su is released and slowly putting the puzzle together, you go at exactly the same pace as him so that you’re trying to work it all out together.
Notably this film has some incredible performances from absolutely everyone. Oh Dae-su is fantastic and so is the girl he meets along the way, Mido (Hye-Jeong Kang), who helps him try and piece everything together. Their performances really helped with the storytelling, especially the scene in which Oh Dae-su fights 10 guys at a time with just a hammer as the strength of determination to find his kidnapper keeps him going.
This story is all about revenge, Oh Dae-su and his quest to get revenge on the person who imprisoned him. I thought I was just getting myself into a revenge tale where a man just goes bat shit crazy on as many people to get to the person hes getting revenge on, honestly I was getting ready for a Korean John Wick. Little did I know that this film would affect me as much as it did. At the beginning I thought it was a bit strange and wondered what all the hype was about but once the end credits rolled I didn’t know what to do with myself.
I could honestly talk about all the parts of this movie for ages. I could talk about the incredible choreography of the fight scenes, the wonderful music that backdrops this story, the editing that splices all the different sequences together perfectly. Its one of those films that has a bit of everything because there were moments of comedy thrown in as well which I wasn’t expecting. This film is quite like Parasite in that aspect of it just having a bit of everything and it doing all of it incredibly well. We need to focus more on Korean films.
Overall…. wow… just wow. This is the sort of film that angers me because I know there are people that don’t watch foreign films and they are missing out on perfect films like this. There’s just so many strokes of genius in this horrifying painting of beauty. They made an American remake I believe, do not watch it, watch the original because I can just tell that the remake will just be the watery part that comes out the ketchup bottle. Watch the full ketchup.
“There are 3 kinds of people; the ones above, the ones below, and the ones who fall”
Review by Lewis Goodall
I’ve never been an evil doer, never really been in trouble apart from setting fire to stuff at school with a magnifying glass. I just don’t think I’d do well in prison. I’m too soft for that, the prisoners would treat me the same way Timothée Chalamet treats a peach.
The Platform, Directed by Galder Gaztelu-Urrutia (I hope I’m pronouncing that correctly), is a thriller set inside a unique prison. This is a vertical prison with one cell per level. Each day a platform filled with food lowers itself through the levels, allowing two minutes for the two occupants of each cell to feast. Level by level, the food becomes more scarce as more food from the platform buffet gets devoured. The film focuses on Goreng ( Ivan Massague) as we watch him survive in this mad house of hunger.
First off, let me blast my ‘creative story’ trumpet because this is such a unique idea and I’m more than in love with it. The idea of a prison that lays out a beautiful bouquet everyday for the prison to be gradually torn apart by each level of the prison is amazing. Maybe it’s just me on this but I love it. Something about the prison and how it works is that the prisoners spend a month on each floor and then they are moved to another. One month you’ll be on floor 8 say which is great! First pickings on the buffet, but then the next month you might be on floor 80 where the buffet is mainly the leftovers from the previous 79 levels… Yucky.
It’s an amazing idea and fabulously acted out by our protagonist, Goreng. As mentioned there are two occupants on every floor. Goreng shares his cell with Trimagasi (Zorion Eguileor), an elderly gentleman who explains the rules of the prison to young little naive Goreng. The chemistry these two have as they battle the levels is great. Starts off as a typical, student master dynamic you know? The old “oh what does this button do?”, “NO!! do not touch that button, you don’t know what the button does”, that sort of relationship, a button pressing one. They gradually see eye to eye and play the prisons game together.
This is a no spoiler program so I’m not going to give any more information other than what I’ve spouted so far In terms of how the prison works and stuff but it’s a seriously well crafted story with an interesting idea behind it. I’d say that with every great idea, sometimes it’s a great idea and that’s all you get, fantastic idea that is stretched across and hour and a half so at points it did get a bit repetitive I guess but it had a few moments thrown in to completely flip you on your head which was a much needed way to keep it flowing.
Slight spoiler, I’m going against what I said in the last paragraph but I just want to. So another point I wasn’t keen on but it was the structure of the end so skip to the next paragraph if you don’t want this spoiled for for you. The end is left open, which I absolutely love in most cases but in this film I felt like it could’ve done with a finished off story, purely because it ends before what I wanted to happen, happened. It felt as though they didn’t really know where to take it from the end but hey ho, I have no say in these things, I’m just a little man holding a phone talking about films.
Overall I felt this film was one of the more creative I’ve seen for a while. The idea itself is enough for me to recommend it. This film gets a bit… nasty at points I’ll say, a few ickies thrown in there so just a warning. It’s also Spanish as well and who doesn’t love a Spanish accent.
“The Chinese people have a saying, when people get cancer, they die”
Review by Lewis Goodall
This film may bring the tone down a bit on this website. Its quite a sad one so I’ll still make sure the review is still full of humour… This film is about cancer, get prepared for a dose of tumour humour.
The Farewell, Written and directed by Lulu Wang, is based on a true story of the directors actual family. A Chinese family discover that their grandmother, Nai Nai (Shuzhen Zhao) has been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. They decide to it keep a secret from her. The family then push forward a wedding so that everyone can travel back to China to spend their final days with Nai Nai.
Told you. Told you this would bring the tone down a bit, quite hard to put a happy spin on a story like this. Just from the description I knew this film would make me cry and it did, of course it did, if you don’t you’re heartless or you hate elderly Chinese women with cancer. The story is a downer but it is told beautifully. Through the realistic dialogue to the emotional acting but mainly the cinematography. The way this film is shot is stunning and simplistic. Shots that would probably go unnoticed if you’re not really dissecting it but when you take a step back from the story and look at the frame it’s gorgeous. Notably is the positioning of characters throughout and the framing at which they’re in, cleverly shows the closeness of the family throughout so a real nice bit of directing from Lula there.
The story focuses mainly on Billi (Awkwafina, not a typo of awkward, her real name), the granddaughter of Nai Nai. She moved to America with her family when she was young and keeps in contact with Nai Nai over the phone but hasn’t seen her in person for around 20 years. When the news gets released that poor Nai Nai has some naughty clouds growing In her lungs, her and her family travel to China under the excuse of going to a cousins wedding. The acting from everyone throughout is emotional and raw. Having to conceal their feelings throughout to keep the cancer fact quiet so that Nai Nai doesn’t find out is done incredibly well from everyone. Matched with heartbreaking but maybe cliche at times, writing, this whole film makes for a sad film (what would you expect). Although the whole tone is sad face, theres are a lot of soft humour thrown in the mix to keep things cheery and also some moments that make you want to call your own family and see them all and reconnect.
Overall it’s a powerful film with a powerful message about family. I will be doing a spoiler section because I absolutely need to talk about a certain fact. Throughout the duration of the film you’ll go through a few emotions which is what cinema is all about, provoking a reaction from the viewer and using a dying women to do so.
8 Bird Invaders out of 10
Right this is kind of major spoilers so seriously don’t read this if you’re even thinking about watching the film. Here it goes. Nai Nai doesn’t die….. kind of pulls the whole uno reverse card on the idea of the film, but in the end, because no one tells her, she doesn’t have the fear lingering over her life and therefore carries on. She is given 3 months to live but has now lived for 6 years and somehow, the family have still kept it a secret. Even after making a full film about it, they have managed to keep it under wraps. They’re banking on Nai Nai not being capable of using the internet and looking it up, pretty impressive if you ask me. Anyway, not so much anything to add or subtract from the review, I just needed to talk about that because it surprised me a lot.
I first want to apologise to Bong Joon Ho. If you’re reading this Bong ( Who am I kidding, you’re not reading this), I would like to congratulate you on making history and being the first foreign film to win best picture. I have some sucking up to do because this was my favourite film of the nominees but I for sure thought that 1917, i wanted parasite to win but my money was on 1917 just cause it seemed like the easy one that they would vote for. Much like everyone else did purely because I thought the academy would just give this the best foreign film and let it be but for once they had some sense and voted for this absolute masterpiece.
Parasite is the story of class. The Kims, a poor family, con their way and slowly infiltrate the Park family. One by one they each start working for the Park family one way or another. Making a healthy living off the Park family, they much keep their heads low as they risk of being exposed.
I’m going to say again how utterly proud and happy I am that this film won best picture, it so deserved the win because this film does everything and it does everything perfectly. I hope to god that the people out their who don’t watch foreign films will look at the fact that this won and will give foreign films a chance because they offer incredible stories, much like this one. This film is comedy, it’s romance, it’s thriller, it’s mystery, it’s horror, it’s everything a film should strive to be.
The film goes in stages and slowly builds and builds throughout the film to create a beautiful tension. This is helped by a script that’s realistic and characters that are likeable. Every single member of both families each have their own quirks and style which gives such a variety to the story and creates so many intricate parts but at the same time not being complicated to keep up with. That’s what is perfect about this film, well lets face facts it’s all perfect, but in-particular, it’s accessible for anyone to watch and enjoy the flip out of it.
Two aspects I also got erections over were the cinematography and the music. These two components come together and make a beautiful bond of cinema fireworks. A scene in particular which I won’t describe what happens but essentially the Kim family show start to show how sneaky and snidey they can be, but it’s a montage with stunning music over the top and it was pure beauty. It’s like that moment in the sausage advert where the man takes a bite and it takes his mind back to when he was a child and made him feel young again and free, not sure where i’m getting at but what i’m getting at is that sequence took you and the scenic route of a journey and the scenery was beautiful.
The last paragraph pretty much goes for everything in the film, everything was just beautiful, the acting the scenery, the pacing of the story, the charterer arcs, the overall message. Much like Black Swan, I feel this is how an art film should be. Although this film is doesn’t include a person turning into a bird, what it does do is perfectly convey a message to the viewer whilst also making an incredible film
I’m going to go as far as to say this is my favourite foreign film ever and I feel for sure it would be in my top ten films of all time because this is how a film should be in my eyes. This is what other films should strive to be. I know i haven’t talked much about what happens because it’s a film that is best going into when you know nothing about it because every moment is to be enjoyed in full
Overall i feel this is going to be no surprise at all what i’m going to score this and i’m just going to repeat everything I have already said but for anyone who skips to the overall sections of my reviews then watch this film. The script in this film does the comedy perfectly, as well as smoothly transitioning into a thriller. The production design, music and cinematography make this a treat to look at. The acting makes the whole film enjoyable and i can’t stop thinking about it. It’s a film that will bore itself into your brain and will not leave, ironically much like a parasite.
Dreaming is great, most of the time, obviously you get those dreams that everyone seems to get that make you glad you wake up, like the dreams where you’re falling or the ones where when you wake up, you have to instantly check you still have all your teeth left because in the dream you pulled them out. When they aren’t dreams like that you get some good ones, I had one where a fish fell in love with me, now if I was a mute then it would’ve won an oscar for best picture.
The Science of Sleep shows that were all the same when we sleep by following Stephane (Gael Garcia Bernal), a creative inventor that travels to France to visit his mum after his father passes away. He lives in an apartment complex that his mum is the landlord for and gets a job making calender’s. When Stephanie, an artist (Charlotte Gainsbourg), moves in opposite his apartment, their relationship grows through both of their creative worlds.
The Science of Sleep is written and directed by Michael Gondry, the same mind behind ‘Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind’. If you’ve seen that film then you can already tell that this is going to get weird but in the greatest way. This film starts on the set of Stephane TV, where Stephane demonstrates how the mind creates dreams through childhood memories and events that happen throughout the day. This TV show is inside Stephanes head to which we return to throughout the film to see what Stephane is thinking. The TV set is a great introduction into the style of production that we see throughout the film. Its created out of cardboard and shiny tinsel, as this Stephane runs around controlling what’s happening. Having the visual representation of how Stephane is thinking is great as we see his thoughts evolve to Include Stephanie. I feel the everyone can relate to at least on of Stephanes thoughts which is fantastic because then you really empathise with how Stephane is feeling. Plus seeing his dreams play out every night and incorporating moments from the day is relatable because we all been through it. I’ll give an example, Stephane falls asleep in the bath and in his dream he’s in a bath in his bosses office with his new colleague and they’re talking about Stephanie as she moved in that day, its stuff like that where it’s real bizarre but also relatable.
Stephanie is a sweet innocent artist who shows signs of also having feelings towards stephane so its cute to see both of their emotions play off eachother. I’ve sort of had her character tainted for me a bit because she is the main character in nymphomaniac so it’s a contrast seeing her being sweet and innocent here but also having the memory in my head of watching her getting railed by two BBC’s at the same time. Both characters feel completely separate to what I’ve seen before, they’re very uniquely written which is a nice change. The two of them have a bond right from the get go and it’s mainly shown through their mutual love of art and creativity which shines in the real world as well as within Stephanes head, an example is that their ideas become alive, they both plan to make a stop motion film including a boat that has a forest inside it, and the boat is looking for its mum, whilst doing so they are talking about using music and using that music levitate clouds and…… now’s a good as time as any to talk about the nonsense aspect of this film.
So naturally a film including dreams is bound to have it’s weird moments, but they’re in context and you know what’s happening is a dream so its acceptable. Watching a man with oversized hands fighting his colleagues as they force him to work weirdly makes sense in the context of this film so it works and it works really well. Some of the dream aspects do make their way into the real world which at the time seemed odd but writing about it now and thinking it through makes me realise that the closer he gets to stephanie and the more he falls for her. His real world starts to feel like a dream and aspects are coming to life which is beautiful. There is one aspects of weirdness in the real world that is there and I feel doesn’t really add too much to the story is the fact that Stephane makes a time machine for stephanie, but the machine can only go one second either way, into the past or into the future. It was an aspect that was a bit lost of me and felt didn’t need to be there.
Overall this seriously is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a hard film to explain because it’s more of a visual playground that needs to be experienced. I probably haven’t sold it well but I loved it. It was seriously wholesome and sweet with watching their relationship blossom and seeing Stephane thoughts doubt themselves but also make assumptions that she loves him and just in general portray overthinking in a great way that people can relate to. Its bizarre, beautiful and actually really funny in spots which I’m remembering now as I’m thinking back, some actual laugh at loud moments, man I want to watch it again now.
“Smile, Zain. This is for your ID card, not your death certificate”
Review by Lily Taylor
Nadine Labaki directs this Lebanese drama set in Beirut following the life of 12 year old Zain (Zain Al Rafeea). The film opens on a court scene in which Zain is attempting to sue his parents for giving him life, while he serves a five year prison sentence for stabbing a ‘son of a bitch’- personally I think he was fully justified! We then cut to a scene of immigration officers processing migrant worker, including Ethiopian born Rahil (Yordanos Shiferaw).
Flash back in time and we learn that Zain lives in the slums with his family, working part time at a store owned by a total swine named Assaad (Nour El Husseini) and spending the rest of his time crushing up Tramadol for his mother to sell to inmates at the local prison. He is particularly close to his sister Sahar (Haita Izzam) and runs away from home when his parents marry her off to shopkeeper Assaad.
Zain finds himself at an amusement park where his story becomes intertwined with immigrant worker, Rahil and her son, Yonas (Boluwatife Treasure Banko). Rahil takes Zain under her wing and he looks after Yonas while she works.
Nothing goes quite to plan for Rahil, Zain or his family and the challenges they face in the slums of Beirut eventually lead to the pair being reunited in prison, just before Zain takes on his parents in the courtroom. Many events transpire in the interim but you have to watch it to understand the gravity of the characters situation. The story is heartbreaking and is only made bearable by the smattering or humour that Labaki expertly weaves through the script.
‘Capernaum’ often feels like you’re watching a documentary and I don’t think that is in any way accidental. The portrayal of life as a paperless individual in Beirut is so closely based on the truth that at times I forgot it was fictional. Zain Al Rafeea, our main character, is in fact a refugee himself and the role of his mother was inspired by a woman that Nadine Labaki really knew who lived in the slums and had sixteen children, six of which had died. Al Rafeea’s performance is phenomenal, he has mastered a character that is forced by his environment to be older than his years. He cares for his sister and Yonas and carries himself like the man of the house. His spectrum of emotion is what makes the film, at times it’s painfully raw and at others, it’s lightened by dark comedy. The realness of ‘Capernaum’ is a credit to Labaki’s research and first hand experience.
The idea that a child would sue his parents because he and his siblings had suffered so greatly in life is a powerful one but it’s not the most realistic of concepts. This was one of the few faults I could find with ‘Capernaum’ and I didn’t even notice it until several hours after the film had finished because I was so swept up in the sentiment. I also felt that the film was a little bit unpolished but capernaum literally means chaos so I really should have been expecting that. I think this film is an important and educational watch but be prepared to have your heartstrings tugged.
I would give ‘Capernaum’ 9 Cockroach Men out of 10.
“This howling is the most exciting thing I have ever heard”
Review by Lewis Goodall
I’ve only watched 2 girls 1 cup once, the reason I’ve only watched it once is because quite frankly, and I’m sure other people are with me on this, it’s pretty poorly written. It’s got nice music but other than that there’s no story, the acting and characters aren’t relatable, things happen for no reason or motive, all together it’s not a well made short film if I’m honest. Plus also it’s a tad on the gross side, I wasn’t sure if I was meant to enjoy what I was watching or not, I definitely didn’t enjoy the experience. Salò, or 120 Days of Sodom is 2 girls 1 cup, stretched over an hour and forty minutes. so let me tell you something…… it sucked and made me feel sick, I would rather watch 2 girls 1 cup, in fact I would happily watch that if it meant not having to watch Salò ever again.
Salò, or 120 Days of Sodom, an Italian film directed by a deranged lunatic (played by Pier Paolo Pasolini), takes place at the height of WW2. Four men, all high up in the Italian Government, take nine boys and nine girls to a remote house in the middle of nowhere. This house is home for this group of children as these four men, along with other women, subjects the group to 120 days of mental, physical and sexual abuse.
So yeah in terms of story… not really the most appealing one out there, probably not the first to say it and I certainly wont be the last. The reason I watched this is because I looked up the most controversial films ever made and every website seemed to suggest this film is THE most controversial film of all time. A lot of the time these lists are always wrong but I would happily agree with them on this occasion. The way I described the film just then is essentially everything that happens in the film, it starts in sunny Salò in Italy and shows groups of henchmen kidnapping the most attractive teenagers they can find. The four senior members of the government then pick and choose their favourite to take to the horror house. Once the A-Team has been picked, they are told the rules of the house and told that they will be used for the four men’s pleasure and any breaking of the rules will result in torture. Nice guys eh?
The torture starts pretty much from the beginning of the film, and I don’t mean on the teenagers, I mean on anyone who made the poor decision to watch this film. I would compare this film to water drop torture. It’s slow, boring and will eventually make you feel insane. There’s nothing to this film but at the same time, there’s a lot happening. On a technical level, this film was made in 1975 so obviously cameras back then were the best but even with the best camera in the world, having it be poorly operated will make a film look bad. Make it a bad camera, what you have is something that looks like a home video that you’d see on ‘you’ve been framed’ but instead of a kid tripping over a flower pot, the kid gets tripped up and then raped.
The sound quality is awful as well, poor dialogue syncing with the mouth was just off putting, but the thing is that I watched it with subtitles and the original dialogue, so why did it look the same as a poorly dubbed karate movie? Riddle me that? Just all in all, this wasn’t even a visually pleasing film to watch, there is one moment where the cameras follows a couple dancing around a table that would even really nice but it’s as if the cameraman kept getting caught up in wires because they were fumbling all of the place and made it all seem like a school media project. 0/10 for technical ability, put effort in, you may not have the budget of ‘2001: a Space Odyssey’ but still.
The meat and potatoes of this film all revolves around all the different types of violence inflicted on these teenagers throughout the film. A woman, who is an accomplice of the four men, would tell stories to everyone to get them in the freaky mood. These stories would consist of a lovely young woman that would let a man spray his seed on her face and other body parts. One of the four men would get excited and then take a kids off to fondle, repeat this step and you have the first half of the film. The story is split into 4 chapters, Anteinferno, Circle of Manias, Circle of shit and Circle of blood. Let’s talk about circle of shit as this is the part of the film that really shouldn’t be shown at church. As the film progresses, the woman’s stories get more sick and twisted to the point where one story Includes the consumption of faeces. This excited the four men and makes them also want to try this act and force the kids to try. What happens from then, begins a set of scenes where kids are forced to eat shit as part of their meals, they all have a communal bucket to shit so they can store it for later consumption. I bet you’re gagging to watch this film now. The whole experience is sick and disgusting and makes you wonder why? Why is this a part of the story? it adds nothing. Although apparently the director says that it is a metaphor for junk food consumption being forced upon people which just makes me sigh. Another over the top art project. Although that would be a great advertisement technique for the government to get people to stop eating KFC, make TV ads of people eating eat out of a mighty bucket for one.
The last chapter is the Circle of blood where the torture really begins (as if it hasn’t started already). The torture scenes are just nasty in themselves but honestly they had nothing on all the poop chomping. There are also events that happen throughout the film that don’t really make sense, there’s a wedding, an arse judging competition, the whole film is just nonsensical sexual acts. This film is praised for its accurate depiction of violence and people proclaim that it’s supposed to sure violence for what it truly is, it’s not meant to be enjoyed, the experience is supposed to leave you unsettled because violence in the real world is not glorified and its gritty and dark. Yeah, I totally get that, but also there’s ways of being able to portray violence in more effective ways. Take the film ‘irreversible’ for example, there is a 10 minute rape scene that is gritty and horrific, but the way it is done has way more effect and will stick with me more than the whole of Salò. The fact that in Salò there is no connection to any of the characters means that I don’t care what happens to them, yes its disgusting but having a film full of shock factor just makes for poor film making because the shocks don’t have any effect other than making me think, “gross, why the hell am I watching this”. I guess in a sense the film does its job with making me not want to watch it because it’s uncomfortable, but my point is, I didn’t want to watch it because it was poorly made, I would happily watch a rape scene if its told well. I realise how bad that sentence makes me sound but I hope my point gets across, yes this film Is violent, but it’s also very poorly made. There is so many better ways to depict violence in a way that is more effective in storytelling.
Grrrrrrr, I just don’t know how people can defend this film in anyway. Every single aspect of this film was just awful, one of the four men has wonky eyes and it was so off putting the whole time, I found myself giggling at the close ups of his face even though what was happening was pretty gross. I cant Express how much I hate this film, its not a film, it’s an hour and forty minutes of poorly told torture porn, masquerading as a political message . I just don’t get who this film is for, I assume the whole thing is purely just to show violence in its purest form but come on.
Overall, I feel like you know how this is going, the whole film sucked, there is not one aspect of this film that was remotely enjoyable, at least if the story is bad, if it has some swanky camera angles or funny jump cuts then it would be slightly enjoyable but nothing. Even the end sucked, the ending was THE worst ending I have ever seen in a film, I gasped out loud and woke the dog because I couldn’t believe that that is how the film ended. Apparently the director shot 4 different endings and ended on that one. I wish the director shot 4 different films and then scraped them all and gave up on being a director to pursue a career that requires no talent where he would fit in. The director was actually murdered around 3 week after this films released, I’m not going to agree with what the killer did but I do have to thank them cause at least we never got a sequel.
Actually there was a tiny bit of Italian music in the film and that was nice.
I think this is a close to being a child soldier I want to be. I mean luckily I’m not a child anymore and I’m not Columbian so I think I’ve pretty much solidified that not happening to me. Unless we invent a time machine that sends people back in time and turns them Columbian then I think I’m pretty much screwed, but at this point I’m glad I can sit in a comfy room and experience the horrors of child warfare with Monos.
Monos, Directed by Alejandro Landes, is a columbian film that takes place on a mountain top and follows a group of 8 child soldiers. They have been allocated a hostage and a milk cow to protect with their lives. The group work together to assure that their mission is completed. Taking part in rigorous military training exercises by day and playing around like kids at night, the team find themselves putting their skills to practice when they are driven down the mountain due to a surprise attack. Each child must work together to ensure their mission is still completed as to not get on the bad side of the mysterious clan that control them called ‘The Organisation’.
The first thing I’ll say about this film is that it is utterly stunning, seriously it is gorgeous. A pastel blue watercolour follows the story the whole way through and makes it such a pleasure to watch, even if what you’re watching is unsettling. The clouds in this film, I’ve never seen clouds look so god damn sexy. If you’re a lover of clouds then you will get a real kick out this. Taking place on a mountaintop where the air is thin and the clouds sit below them, just the whole setting and scenery is so powerful from the get go. It transcends and evolves as the story moves to the jungle and even then it is still as wonderfully depicted through the cinematography by Jasper Wolf. The overall attack of the senses with the visuals to the music is just overwhelming with power to immerse you within this clan of 8.
The groups itself is formed from kids, ranging around the age of 15. We have (I’m gonna try to remember this off the top of my head) Wolf, Lady, Boom Boom, Bigfoot, Rambo, Swede, Smurf and Dog (I couldn’t do it, I got them all apart from the last two). The group are called ‘Monos’ by the representative of the organisation who travels down to keep an eye on them and make sure that everything is still under control. This film very much plays like ‘Lord of the Flies’ which the director has said that it is an inspiration for his work and it works perfect to translate to the war going on in Columbia. All the kids are wonderfully portrayed and really transport you into this world. As mentioned before, they have to take care of a hostage, who they use to spread propaganda to the opposing side of the war, using her to spread messages. The relationship between the 8 and the hostage is a strange one, they treat her nicely but then don’t Invite her to one of their birthday parties which is down right savage, they teach these kids to be cold as hell. We also have the cow which is played beautifully, the way she moos and produces milk is breathtaking and so rare to see these days.
There are so many parts to the story that are so shocking and they are done in such a way that you arent expecting them at all, it’s not overally stuff thats difficult to watch which is what I was expecting, it’s just shot so well that things happen out of nowhere and they really connect with you and pack one hell of a punch. Events like this happening alongside a soundtrack that beautiful and unsettling just creates such a journey that’s unlike one I’ve seen for a while. I was genuinely in awe at the visuals and I was gasping along the way. I would say that the end cuts off in a way that feels a bit sudden, I could happily of watched another hour just to be a part of this world for that much longer. Although that’s kind of a weird thing to say cause I would definitely not want to be there at all but the experience and how it is shot is a huge credit to everyone involved to create a vivid and enchanting masterpiece.
The choice of sound in this film is seriously interesting as well as the director played with sound association which I am such a fan of. When the story teaches you to associate a sound with a character it’s fantastic and creates moments where anxiety would hit you as you could hear a noise and know that a certain character was going to do something. It’s such a clever way to play on the viewers brain and really adds to the experience.
Overall this film is damn close to being perfect, there isn’t anything in particular that I can think of that I didn’t like, maybe just i wish there was a bit more, maybe a bit more of connecting to some of the characters but ultimately this is a journey that seriously should not be missed. It really opens your eyes to the sort of lives that people live out there and what some of these children go through. With a stunning backdrop and masterful music, it was a world I was sucked into a spat out of with me forgetting i wasn’t in a rain forest. It also sparked a fear in my that I didn’t know I had, in one part a character is surrounded by thousands of mosquitoes and flies and they’re frantically trying to swat them away, it’s only brief but that hit hard. Remind me to wear a suit made put a mosquito net if I ever go to the jungle.
“They move around on two legs but they are beasts”
Review by Lewis Goodall
Much like the Indian language, I’ll make this review very quick. This is a film that I wasn’t expecting anything from but I was pleasantly surprised with whatever the hell this film seems to be. Me just then comparing this to the Indian language isn’t just random, this is an Indian film and it was something that surprised me whilst watching it, they’re so quick with talking, it’s like a race to say a sentence as fast as possible, it was genuinely amazing.
So Jallikattu, the word is actually the name of a sport/tradition in India where a bull is unleashed upon a crowd of people and they must control it, either by grabbing the lump on it’s back, riding it or grabbing it by the horns. This film plays out like that but instead the bull has been let out by accident by a butter handed butcher (a sentence I never thought I’d write). Directed by Lijo Jose Pellissery, this is a depiction of man showing how primal we still are. As the bull unleashes havoc upon a small town, it’s down to the residence of this town to hunt it down in order to control the beast terrorising their crops.
Instantly this film is a surprise, like I said, I wasn’t going into this film expecting much, I went to see it just as filler for the day but as soon as it started, I knew I was in for a treat. Instantly were greeted with a ticking clock soundtrack to add to the anxiety of what’s about to come. Guess this film is kind of like an Indian version of Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’ I that aspect. The sounds and the editing are mesmerising to create a montage of the lives of the people who live in this village, it shows the day to day of the butchers who sell their red meat, mainly buffalo. Sprinkled into this is a lot of humour which again was fairly unexpected. I was going into this film expecting a brutal cat and mouse but there was a lot of humour thrown in and some really good humour at that.
Along with the editing, the camera motions were also incredibly done, I’m a huge fan of a long lasting, one shot and it delivered on several occasions. It was a genuinely enjoyable watching experience, watching the camera swerve In and out of a crowd of people running together. As the film progresses and the bull create more trouble, the more people join in the hunt to the point where there is a crowd of what must be over 200 people chasing this one bull and the scale of this film is Insanely powerful. I was not expecting this film to have as much of an impact as it had.
At points I would say that I felt as though the story wasn’t quite sure what it was, as in between high intensity moments, it would suddenly cut to a family or a strange small love story that felt very unneeded considering the story that this film was meant to be. I’m not too sure where these cut away’s fit in, even looking at it with an arty eye, I cant see there being too much relevance to the story at hand. I looked at it with an arty eye because the end certainly has you looking at it with this eye. The end gets you thinking about just how much the human race really hasn’t changed from our primal ancestors and how that at the end of the day, we are still just beasts. This is solidified by the fact that 92% of the dialogue in this film is just yelling.
Overall it’s an experience I really wasnt prepared for but I was blown away by how much I enjoyed going along with the crowd, chasing this bull, made me want to grab a spear and slap on a loin cloth.