Saturday, October 22, 2005

Buddy, Viva Laldjérie

1) Buddy (directed by Morten Tyldum, written by Lars Gudmestad): Rating 7/10

This 2003 Norwegian movie is a light hearted well meaning film. Kris and Geir are two billboard poster hangers who live the good life. Well according to them that is. They find ways to make their jobs exciting, either by jumping off buildings or doing some crazy stunts while Kris records everything on his digital camera. Kris’s blond girlfriend does not appreciate of his lifestyle. She wants him to do something with his life (think High Fidelity). She also wants him to take their relationship a bit more seriously. So when she gives him the keys to her apartment, well Kris is taken aback. On the advice of his best friend, Geir, Kris returns the keys back. Well the blond then dumps Kris and dates her boss. Kris is devastated but finds himself falling for the cute brunette who is their new room-mate (the three buddies Kris, Geir and Stin Inge share one apartment). At the same time, Kris becomes famous after his digital tapes are found by a TV exec who wants to make a reality show about Kris and his friends, sort of like a video diary. The show is a hit and the blond wants to be back with Kris. But Kris likes the brunette. And Kris does not have much time to make up his mind. Because the brunette is leaving the country to sail around the world with a male ‘friend’! The movie is much more entertaining than I am making it sound. But ofcourse it is predictable. None the less, a sugar coated movie that addresses two universal truths:

a) Sure blonds might be pretty to look at but at the end of the day a man will truly love a cute and caring woman (most likely a brunette, my apologies to all the cute and caring blondes out there).
b) men will always have a soft spot for the football (soccer, ofcourse) team they supported as a child.

2) Viva Laldjérie (written any directed by Nadir Moknèche): Rating 8/10

2004 was a stellar year for Lubna Azabal. Not only was she in the amazing Exils, she also starred in this interesting French-Algerian movie. Lubna plays Goucem, a modern Algerian woman who is trying to life a normal life while being surrounded by age old cultural stereotypes. She works in a photo shop by day and is a party girl by night. In between her flings with men she picks up, she is trying to hold a relationship with a married man. Will the married man ever embrace Goucem officially? Despite what others tell her, Goucem would like to believe she will move from being just a mistress to being a respected married woman. Meanwhile, Goucem’s open minded mother Papicha has her own set of problems. A former belly dancer, Papicha has to endure the fickle minded mentality surrounding her. And the third woman shown in this movie is Goucem’s neighbour, Fifi, a prostitute, who while being a necessity for certain men is also a source of their anger and disgust.

The movie is not that long but I felt it went on and on. On one hand I was lost in the story but on the other hand, nothing in the movie made me compelled to continue watching. Lubna is a very good actress though – her facial expressions and her beauty match the mood she is trying to convey.

No comments: