King of Devil’s Island (Norway)
The movie is based on a true story that happened in Christian correction service in Bastoy Island, Norway during the start of the century. A group of young teenagers revolt against the bad administration led by the new boy in the centre. The movie deals with bad practices in such correction facilities and how the boys try to fight against the system. The movie is directed by Marius Holst with Stellan Skarsgard and Benjamin Helstad in the lead
The biggest strength of the movie is the impeccable casting – including the Governor, House Father and the boys. Well written with minimalistic dialogues and brilliantly acted. In fact, you will end up impressed by the supporting character Olav (Trond Nielssen) more than anybody else. The two other important aspects of the movie is the excellent sound engineering and the musical score. I wish I had a chance to see the movie in a better theatre to enjoy the sound better. A 7/10 and a good movie to watch.
1. The original Bastoy correction facility is was termed as the first ecological prison in the world.
2. The movie won a host of Amanda Awards – the national award of Norway. It was featured in many International Film festivals in the last one year including Canberra, Seattle, Nordic and Rotterdam
Red Sky (Greece)
First things first – it was great to have the director present the movie. Kudos and welcome to Laya Yourgou, the director of the movie. Red Sky depicts the life of two friends torn by the love for a woman who seeps in to their life. Aris and Stelios are friends live far away from the city and do farming for a living. Aris’ sister’s friend Cardoba comes to meet them and falls in love with Stelios. Aris, initially loathing her falls in love with her.
Although Laya tries to evolve the characters of the movie, she fails to substantiate the emotional aspects of the characters. The love between Aris and Cardoba is superfluously handled and neither Stelios nor the audience are told the reason behind it. The filming was nice but screenplay calls for some deftness. Not so great – A 5/10 for Laya’s Red Sky
Heat Wave (France)
It’s wonderful to see some international directors flying down to Chennai. Jean Traffaut, the director of Heat Wave was gracious enough to come down and present his movie. Heat wave is intertwined story of 4 people and how a murder affects each of them. Jean takes parallel story telling as his method to suck the audience in his story and presents with the final blow of the murder. Slow and languid pace that’s typical to French movies may test the patience of the audience but final scenes are worth the wait. Jean leaves the subtexts after climax to the audience imagination. Neatly done typical French fare – 6.5/10
1. The movie was one of the official selections of Cannes Film Festival
Sin Retorno – No Return (Argentina)
I think the best is always kept at the last. The final movie of the day was par excellence and I applauded for the first time in two days. Sin Retorno is a movie about a hit and run case that happens in the middle of one fateful night. Two young men drive a car during a party and severely injure a hapless young man on the road (who later dies in the hospital). Both of them dump the car and the boy who drives the car tries to divulge information by claiming that car was stolen. Another man, who met with an accident with the same guy earlier is falsely accused by the victim’s father, convicted and spends 4 years in jail. He comes back and searches for the real culprit. Does he take revenge on the boy and how is something you need to watch.
The film deals with media rhetoric and how some people are falsely convicted for the crimes they have not done. It also deals with the mental agony they go through and family reactions. More importantly, it deals with the morality of those people who hide their crimes and stay safe in their houses. Superbly acted by Leonardo Sbragalia and Martin Slipak, the movie brings out the ethical and morality issues faced by the upper middle class families. A well written movie with crispy screenplay, it never bores you and Miguel Cohen has done a wonderful job in bringing out the necessary issues in to the forefront. The movie is well suited for the Indian audiences as we are traveling in the media rhetoric and trying to find justice in TVs. I dunno how many such stories will we get if we visit the Indian jails. A well deserved 8/10 and a must watch for Miguel Cohen’s Sin Retorno