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Daily Archives: 01/24/2006

Garasi

Let the music speak for itself.

But this is a film, right?

We are very much tickled with the above two statements upon watching the film which tries to revive a rock-film genre. As music is strongly linked to this kind of genre, Garasi does what it knows best: pulsating rhythms that make filmgoers tap in their feet despite the sorrowful lyrics or the gothic-look of the band’s members, the score that works within the same note of the soundtrack, altogether potentially gives a way for spawning merchandises, in particular, a rocking soundtrack album.

Set aside the music, what else do we have?

Sadly, not much.

Garasi

What draws me to the film prior to watching it is the premise of the film that tries to balance the narrative structure of storytelling with the rock genre as mentioned early on. What I have seen later is the imbalance of the two, leaving each one standing on its own, and not supporting one another. Thus, we will see the highly-energized scenes of the band’s performances do initiate our heads to bang and nod, but once they stop, we are retreated back to the literally dark scenes which will take our eyes for a while to get used to. Patiently waiting for the next few minutes, we will see Prima Rusdi excels in writing dramatic scenes and their twists, particularly the climatic revelation between the band’s singer and her mother (in addition to the slip-in of criticism towards gossipy news which is subtly done very well). And Prima knows not to dwell on this kind of scene for too long to create a good impact to the entire film, leaving the path back to the rock scenes to quench the thirst of the film’s intended audience, i.e. teens or youngsters with high aspiration in music.

There goes how the film will appeal, and for those who prefer to scratch their heads over its simplistic story line, let the comical scenes entertain you instead, for the film knows what it aims best, that is, to rock, the hard way.

 
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Posted by on 01/24/2006 in English, Film

 

The Constant Gardener

Keep telling yourself that this is a love story.

And to have a love story that could span into some other multi-layered stories enriched with complicated subtexts is what makes the film applaudable, and certainly what has put Fernando Meirelles as a director with an edge.

Recalling the quick-cut scene-changes style of City of God, Meirelles once again establishes himself as a director with a penchant for non-conventional narrative storytelling. Audience is forced to sit through the entire 120 minutes of the film to arrange the puzzle, despite some lengthy scenes, yet quickly redeemed with pulsating scores from Alberto Iglesias, and breathtaking looks of Africa as captured by Cesar Charlone, the cinematographer.

The puzzle itself may contain numerous characters whom at times seem to be merely passing by to enjoy their limited fame, although the same cannot be said of Bill Nighy, Danny Huston and Pete Postlethwaite who light up the screen with their dignified turns that make their scenes compelling to watch. Especially the latter, with the least screen time among the three, yet audience will root for more, only to get some salvation towards the end of the film.

The Constant Gardener

However, as the puzzling story is centred at the unconditional love story between the film’s two leads, so is the ensemble which would only work should there present the two leading actors, Ralph Fiennes and Rachel Weisz. Fiennes succesfully channels his transformation from a tight-up diplomat to be a tormented husband who listens to his gut feelings to save his love. Although the transformation here is far from the physical ones as what he previously did in Sunshine or Spider, the subtleness is felt throughout his entire presence.
While Weisz never gets a chance of character-transformation as her partner does, she radiates the screen with her fearless persona that bowl over every single character in the film. In short, without further spoiler of this write-up, the tagline stating “Love. At Any Cost” does indeed reflect and revolve around Weisz’s character, almost entirely. This surely explains why at times, the film seems to be on her shoulder.

And to carry the task effortlessly, Weisz has earned her own spotlight amidst the crowd surrounding her life with The Constant Gardener.

Once again, a love story never fails to prevail.

 
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Posted by on 01/24/2006 in English, Film