Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Turtles can fly

Iraq 2005

Poster and details amazon

Seen 12 October 2007

Unforgettable as Newsweek magazine says. This film centres on the Kurds at the border of Turkey and Iraq during the last days Saddam Hussein's rule in Iraq. The story revolves on the children at a village and refugee camp who get paid looking for scrap metal especially land mines planted around the area. A refugee girl with an older armless brother and a baby brother caught the attention of the leader of the children's gang. As the story unfolds, we learn how the girl and her brothers came to the camp. The flashback itself seems like a tiny fraction of the atrocities endured by the Kurds.

This is not a story with a happy ending however much I would love to believe that fate might give a better hand to the children. I do feel guilty since I am blessed ten fold compared to the children in the story. Why do children have to bear the brunt of adults' monstrosity?

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Shanghai Panic

China 2001

Poster and details amazon

Seen 10 October 2007

The panic starts when Bei thinks he has AIDS. His friends rally around to bolster his self confidence so that he has enough courage to take the test to confirm whether he is HIV positive or not. Bei and his friends can be considered a staple in the clubs of Shanghai who spend their time talking and dissecting the past, present and future besides the good times at night. We see relationships going through ebbs and flow,. while the strength of friendships also goes through myriad tests. This film is a very intimate view of a small group of friends who try to find some semblance of life in the dreary world they have to live in.

Claustrophobic at times.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Butterfly man

Thailand 2002

Seen 8 October 2007

Poster and details butterflyman

A bit disappointing. The film has all the ingredients to make a great movie – reasonable plot, direction and actors, but the x-factor is missing. This is a tale of love gone astray. One night's debauchery, and the whole world goes topsy-turvy. But I just can't root or feel two hundred percent for the the characters, either through their love stage or struggles against the enemy. What a pity, it could have been great.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Men and Woman

China 1999

Poster and details cduniverse

Seen 4 October 2007

The film begins showing a scene of a man broadcasting his own private radio show – The Toilet Times. That in itself, is a good start for me. Toilet humour, maybe.

But the next scene shows a young man arriving in the big city looking for a job. A kind hearted shopkeeper takes him and even lets him stay at her place she shares with her husband. This lady is the rare big hearted woman who tries to help the young man make something out of his life. She even tries to introduce him to a girl in the hope that friendship and romance will blossom.

Unfortunately that scheme did not work according to plan. Instead, there are even some doubts that the young man is even interested in girls. This leads to complications in the relationship between the young man and his benefactor. He moved out of the house and seeks shelter at another friend's place.

The later scenes show how the toilet humor is inter-related to the main story and there is a nice twist to the relationship combinations. The final scene itself seems to be a summary of human relationships as well as a sly commentary on the state of the nation.

Satisfying look at normal lives with an added twist. Do not expect explicit bedroom scenes.