Thursday, September 13, 2007

Paris and Philippines

2 Days in Paris (2007, written and directed by Julie Delpy): Rating 8.5/10

A breezy enjoyable film modeled along the same lines of Richard Linklater's Before Sunset. Delpy's character, Marion, is relatively similar to the role of Celine in both Before Sunset and Before Sunrise -- both Marion and Celine are independent and not afraid to speak their mind. In fact, both characters do plenty of talking which ensures that the male counterpart does not get a word in. One pleasant difference is that the film shows Marion's family and that adds plenty of humorous scenarios. Adam Goldberg is perfectly cast for this film as he brings enough sarcasm and wit to his character (Jack) to balance Marion's quick tongue. Even though Jack shares some of the same political beliefs as Ethan Hawke's character from the two Linklater films, he is more equipped to handle Delpy's character. The two Linklater films focused on the sweet dreamy romantic side of the couple whereas 2 Days in Paris deals with some of the more complicated relationship issues. Now, even though we never truly find out about Celine's past in either Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, there is nothing to deny that her past could be what is portrayed by Marion in 2 Days in Paris.

Overall, a pleasant and smart film!!

Cavite (2005, written and directed by Neill Dela Llana, Ian Gamazon): Rating 8/10

Hot, humid, shaky digital camera following a running character, fade to black. Explosion. Terrorism.

An interesting look at kidnappings, political struggles and terrorism in the backstreets of Philippines. The guerilla style of film-making works in this case as it enables to give a closer look at the chaotic situation that the main character (Adam) finds himself in -- his family is kidnapped and he is forced to commit terrorist acts in order to save them. The film also shows how terrorism can thrive in areas stricken by poverty and plagued by shaky political situations.

Notes: the opening 15 minutes reminded me of John Terros' Todo todo teros, Saw and Phone Booth. As the main character (Adam) is wandering around the streets of Philippines, the scenes from Jeffrey Jeturian's The Bet Collector came to mind.

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