Saturday, October 15, 2005

Trio of Movies: Head-On, Hop, Inch'Allah Dimanche

1) Head-On (2004 movie written and directed by Fatih Akin): Rating 9.5/10

A drunk German/Turkish man slams his car into a wall. The experts believe he wanted to kill himself. So he is sent to an institution. There he meets a Turkish woman. The Turkish woman is there because she had attempted to kill herself as well. Seeing the newly admitted man is Turkish as well, she proposes marriage. Why? Because she needs to escape from her parents clutches. And her traditional parents won’t agree unless the groom is Turkish. But it won’t be a real marriage. They would fake it and live like room-mates. The man does not agree. But after a horrific attempt to kill herself, the man gives in and agrees to marry the woman. Their marriage is unusual and so is the honeymoon. The woman having been liberated goes around enjoying her new freedom – clubbing, drinking and screwing as many men as she can. After her repeated late night outs, her room-mate husband eventually gets jealous -- he is falling in love with her. But things take a turn for the worse and the man finds lands up in jail. The woman leaves Germany to return to Istanbul where her life takes yet another turn. Finally the man turns up in Turkey to seek out the love of this life. What happens next?

An interesting and well made movie! Both actors are very good. But the star of the movie has to be Sibel Kekilli who plays her role superbly – you can see her character transform through various stages in the movie.

2) Hop (2002 movie directed by Dominique Standaert): Rating 9/10

Who knew watching a soccer game could be worth so much trouble? Well it becomes even more difficult if you have to steal cable from your neighbour to watch the game! Justin and his father sit down to enjoy Belgium’s Euro 200 run. But Justin has stolen the signal from his neighbour’s cable and as a result, his neighbour’s game reception is very poor. So when the neighbour finds out that his cable signal is being hijacked, he is not happy. Needless to say, Justin and his dad don’t finish watching the game -- they are too busy running for their lives. As a result, they get separated. Justin’s dad is arrested and faces deportation. So Justin has to come up with a way to get his father back. Lucky for Justin, he lands up at the door of a revolutionary.

This is a charming light hearted movie which manages to tackle the serious issues in an easy going manner. Yes the script is a bit contrived but I really liked this sincere effort.

3) Inch'Allah Dimanche (written and directed by Yamina Benguigui): Rating 10/10

Perfection! That is the best word to describe this amazing movie which tackles the issue of immigration. In 1974 the French Government allowed the country’s Algerian workforce to bring their families to France. That resulted into a lot of Algerian women and children leaving their homeland to head to a different world. Adjusting to a new culture and country is never easy. And the task is made even more difficult when you have someone trying to shove old values down your throat. That is the problem that Zouina (played beautifully by Fejria Deliba) faces when she has to live with her husband and her traditional Algerian mother-in-law in France. The husband was living alone in France and does not seem to change his thinking or way of life after his mother, wife and children arrive in the country. In fact, he is too busy working to be bothered by household issues. In the meantime, the mother-in-law is trying to suffocate the wife with Algerian values without paying heed to the French surroundings. I know this may sound clichéd, but it is done so well. Unlike poor stereo-typed American-Indian movies which attacked the traditional parents, this movie strives to realistically show things as they are.

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