Tag Archives: cannes

Movie Review – Where Do We Go Now?

25 Apr

Like everything else, movies too are big in Texas. The past weekend wrapped up the ten day long Dallas International Film Festival. Needless to say, yours truly with his partner in crime hopped on to every opportunity possible to catch some good films at the festival. I can confidently say that if movies were to be taken out of my life till now, I would have been quiet for more than half of my life! 😛

Click here for the promo.

Where Do We Go Now? is a film which is as endearing as thought provoking. The Lebanese film directed by Nadine Labaki (Caramel fame) is based in a small village which is literally connected to the rest of the country through a narrow valley bridge. The village has Muslim and Christian inhabitants and due to the overall political unrest, maintaining harmony between the two communities is like a tight rope walk. The essence of the film is in the resolve with which the women of the village, who are tired of mourning over their dead sons, which is to not let the political tension impact the peace in their village. The icing on the cake is the humor which is seamlessly woven throughout the story. For instance, when the women anticipate disturbance among the men of the two communities, they get a group of Ukrainian girls to distract them while the women execute a rather interesting plan to balk the unrest.

The narrative has a lot of subtle highlights throughout the film. The village or the country is unnamed. I perceive it as an attempt to make a more generic statement about communal prejudices. The urge to maintain peace has been given prominence in the script over the emotional upsurge within the women of the village revolves around the anxiety of losing their men – sons and/or husbands to the atrocities of communal war. There are several instances in the film which enunciate this notion strongly. While the priest and Imam concoct stories to avoid communal conflicts on petty issues instead of being religious jingoist, the mother of a young lad who gets accidentally killed in the riot outside the village hides her sorrow under the pretext of her son not being well.

This gives a fresh perspective and falls out of the parenthesis of the hackneyed story of misery and death. The film gives us a glimpse of the rather unnoticed yet basic issues of women in Lebanon which have not been glorified in erstwhile attempts.

Music has been used as a character in the story in a brilliant manner. The story maintains a constant pace throughout and music plays a crucial role in doing so. For instance, the use of music to show the love story between Amale (Nadine Labaki), a Christian girl and Rabih, a Muslim lad is austerely beautiful. However, I must mention that the love story gets a little fuzzy and lost in the narrative. All said and done, I am certain that when you finish watching the movie, a couple of those numbers are going to resound in your mind over and over again. Kudos to Khaled Mouzanar for such a wonderful soundtrack!

The film is audacious with its script and the sparkling presentation. It does not strike the melancholy strain entirely, yet conveys the misery of a jaundiced society. The crucial difference lies in the fact that the script actually tries to evaluate the possibilities to resolve the issue rather than lamenting over the socio – political aspects of the issue at hand. It is a venturesome attempt and certainly a praiseworthy one. For all those who want to catch something pretty bohemian, go for it!

My rating:

Click here for the previous movie reviews on Through the Looking Glass..

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