A COMPILATION OF MOVIE REVIEWS 7
ACompilation of Movie Reviews
ACompilation of Movie Reviews
Thepaper will analyze five films based on their mise-en-scene,cinematography, characterization and sound. The films will also beanalyzed on various aspects such as political overtones, undertonesand globalization.
Film:Turtles Can Fly by Bahman Ghobhadi, 2004
Thefilm setup occurs on the Iraq- Turkish border in a Kurdish refugeecamp formed after the incursion of U.S troops into Iraq to weed outSaddam Hussein. The film revolves around a thirteen year oldenterprising boy, Satellite, who installs dishes for a living andclears land mines with the help of other children in the camp. Thefilm also features Agrin, her brother Hengov and the blind toddlerRiga. Agrin catches the attention of Satellite, who tries to help outwhenever Agrin has a problem. Agrin is also portrayed as a bitterchild trying to flee the ghosts of her past that include the toddlershe gave birth to, Riga after being gang raped by soldiers.
Themise-en-scene referring to the composition props used, set, actors,costume and lighting used in the film is detailed. It takes place inan Iraq- Kurdish camp on the Iraqi border. Composition is set in ahilly village set-up with mud houses and tents with protruding withtelevision aerials. The props used to depict the village set-upinclude the mud houses and hilly plains with grass terrains.
Thedirector also depicts the area as remote by placing the road leadinginto the village at far right panel at the 10thminute and the 13:18thminute to the 23rdsecond. Despite the production of the film in Kurdish language, theEnglish sub-titles synchronize well with the character`s movements.
Thefilm uses different frames in various scenes and cinematographictechniques such as Iris in/Iris out functions. At the 17:38thminute, the film depicts the camps` lack of knowledge when thevillagers gather at Esmaeel’s to get news concerning the war. It isalso notable from the 21stminute that the local peoples’ ignorance is Satellites’ chance toearn money.
Thepeoples’ lack of knowledge is a major factor depicted by the filmand their lack of knowledge concerning international matters and theupcoming American invasion of Iraq. The Kurds’ only hope of endingthe oppression suffered from Saddam Hussein’s government is a majortheme portrayed in the film especially by Satellites when he opinesthat George Bush holds the worlds’ matters in his hands at the20:55thminute of the film. Hengov’s clairvoyance is also notablethroughout the film giving the audience insight into the Americaninvasion of Iraq.
Film:Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paranoud, 2007.
Persepolisis an animated film, based on the book of the same title regardingthe 70’s era of the Iranian revolution. The film starts withflashback scenes at the airport where Satrapi reviews her childhoodand her family’s displeasure and rebellion towards the Shahs’regime. The family`s support of the Islamic regime changes due to achange of lifestyle and oppression the liberal families now suffered.However, Marji’s education abroad brings her to reality with theliberalism that is opposed by the Islamic regime. Sexuality, publicmoral views and double standards are expressed in the film thatoffers the audience a mix of both worlds Iran’s tyrannical regimeand the liberal world in Europe that conflict.
Thefilm uses cinematographic techniques such as variable hues. The filmuses black and white hues to represent the past scenes while adding abit of color to depict current scenes in the film. The use of darkhues to black out scenes in certain frames brings focus to thecharacters helping audience note the characters’ importance. Thefilm also uses different frame option and iris in/iris out zoomfunctions throughout the film. The film succeeds in bringing out itpolitical message concerning the oppression the Iranians face afterthe exile of the Shah that they were against. There is a clearpresentation of conflicting ideologies presented in the movie.
Theaudience can note the different cultures and choices the maincharacter, Marji faces. The film is autobiographical, and thedirectors make the film appealing to the majority of audiences aroundthe globe except for countries with strict moral codes such as theMiddle East countries. Sound in the film is in synchrony with theframe and character transition. Cast members include Marji, herparents, her Uncle Anoush and grandmother who is portrayed as beinginfluential in her granddaughters’ life.
Film:Monsoon Wedding by Mira Nair, 2002
Aromantic film, the Monsoon wedding is based on the father, LalitVermas’ control of his daughter Aditi’s life and the insistenceon hosting a big and elaborate arranged wedding for her. Theoccurrence of such an event also acts as a venue for the congregationof relatives scattered across the globe. The film depicts scenes ofconflict normal to an extended family. Conflict is found in the scenewhere Aditis’ cousin, Ria Verma avoids Lalit`s brother-in-law, Tej,who molested her.
Thefilm also shows the growth of love where Alice and P.K Dubey form arelationship eventually marrying towards the end of the film.Conflict arising from the presence of Tej is evident as he eventuallygets the wrath of Lalit, who bids him and his wife to leave. The restof the family remains in relative calm and happiness, and the weddinggoes on as planned.
Thefilm takes on a romantic theme with interspersion of different framesdepicting different families visiting the family in India fromabroad. Interspersion of shots also creates an element of a sequencein the film that aids the audience in following the story line. The1sthour, 18thminute depicts the beginning of the climax where the cast if seen tocelebrate with song and dance. At the 1sthour, 42:26thminute, Lalit finally manages to rid the film of conflict and sadnesswhen he tells Tej and his wife to leave the wedding ceremony and hisfamily in peace.
Soundsynchronizes well throughout the play. Backtrack evidently followsad tones in the film during a photo shoot scene starting from 1sthour, 34thminute to the 35thminute. Lighting is sufficient, and the directors use differentframes placing characters at the far or near right and left panes tofocus and add importance. Despite having an Indian cast, the filmattracts and can maintain the attention from audiences across theglobe. The cast don a combination of Indian garments together withglobal, modern clothing such as suits.
Film:TheDay After Tomorrow by Roland Emmerich, 2004
Thefilm is about the global climate change and the disaster that comeswith the change. Set up in the Antarctica, Jack Hall, apaleoclimatologist is drilling for core samples of icebergs when anice shelf breaks off triggering a sequence of climatic changes. Thescientist delivers his findings and warning to the USA government,but they fail to act on the information. Professor Rapson of theScottish Hedland Climate Research Centre heeds Jacks’ warning andnotice the drop in ocean temperatures in the Atlantic.
Thesequence of dangerous and hostile climate changes occurs throughoutthe globe that cause a drop of temperature beyond freezing points andfloods that destroy cities and exile the whole of the centralAmerican country into Mexico. The importance of environmentalpreservation is emphasized throughout the film especially when massesof people are cut off from supplies such as food and medication.
Thefilm main scenes are set up and revolve around a frozen New York Citycovered in snow and ice after a massive tsunami hits the city. Thefilm also has interspersed shots of Mexico showing the nation atexile. Mise-en-scene that refers to the composition props used, set,actors, costume and lighting in the sequence is detailed. An ancientarchitectural style library with crystal glass windows is filled withwater after the tsunami. This is used to depict the severity of theevents caused by the climate change. The use of dark undertonesduring the tsunami gives audience an idea of how severe the calamityis. There are many scenes that obey the rule of third with charactersobeying symmetry in a frame.
Film:Lilya 4-everby LukasMoodysen, 2003
Thefilm revolves around Lilya, a teenage girl leaving a desolate lifetogether with her mother. Lilya lives in miserable conditions andgets abandoned by her mother who opts for the good life outside theSoviet Union in the Americas. Left with her aunt in her run downflat, Lilya befriends a girl who persuades her to join the world ofprostitution. Despite her efforts at living a moral life, she findsherself joining the commercial sex trade. Lilya still manages to havehope due to the protective relationship she has with boyfriend,Volodya.
Lilyathen stumbles upon Andrei, who becomes her boyfriend, persuading herto go to Sweden for work. She is oblivious about the work in Swedenuntil she realizes that she belongs to a pimp. Lilya suffers sexualabuse while Volodya commits suicide caused by depression after he wasabandoned by Lilya. After numerous failed escape attempts, Lilyafinally looses hope of living despite the appearance of Volodya’sangelic form offering her the world freedom. She commits suicide.The audience is then shown a scene of both Lilya and Volodya inangelic happily playing basketball together having let go of theirtroublesome pasts.
Anold flat is used a prop to depict the derelict conditions of Lilya,her mother and her aunt. The characters in the film are mostly placedframe center to near- right and fill the whole screen. There is alsouse of living props in the film. Outdoor scenes incorporated in thefilm were shot on-location in the Estonian town of Paldiski. There issufficient use of lighting in the film and clear transition of shots.
Interspersionof frames also occurs at the 50thminute and to the 51stthat gives the audience insight into the abuse Lilya suffers fromengaging in prostitution. Evident is a bloodied nose after spendingsome time with a client. There is use of variable costumes in thefilm with synchronizing scenes. Soundtracks such as at the 1sthour, 37th-minuterhyme with Lilya search for freedom that she gets from committingsuicide despite Volodya`s calls for her not to take her life.