Upon walking out of the cinema right after the credit ended, I couldn’t help wondering to myself, what caused that hyped controversy and commotion surrounding Paradise Now. Is it the heart-rending storytelling of a suicide bomber, or the lip-lock scene inside the car between one of the bombers and a girl?
I may not be exposed that much to the current upstream in Middle East country, but I couldn’t help getting myself jolted looking at a few good seconds of the kissing scene, with the backdrop of a chaotic country in the middle of war. Of course, to justify a little bit, the girl is a modern girl recently returned to Palestine after completing some studies. In what seemingly a stereotype-yet-still-valid depiction of someone from a developing country going home after spending some time in a more modern and established land, the girl is also shown wearing pants and tight shirt, instead of burkha like her fellow citizen.
The same modern-sentimental point-of-view as reflected in the above paragraph was unconsciously reflecting in my understanding towards the film. Not only applied to the kissing scene, which by now has irked me most as it actually is a very disposable scene, but also the understanding towards the story about the final hours of two suicide bombers. Storytelling wise, it couldn’t be more gripping with some hilarious scenes peppered evenly throughout the film. In particular, the scene where a suicide bomber is making a heartfelt goodbye speech to his mother before he goes on a duty, only to find that his speech is not recorded yet because the camera operator forgets to load the camera with a film.
Yes, folks. Sensing a deviation of talking about the heavy-weight theme of the story, and focusing to the light-scenes-that-matter-most is what I’ve always been aiming at. Again, I’m not in any fair position to discuss the suicide bombing, as I believe that it’d be best left to any political analyst around. What I’d like to believe most is the ability of the film to crack me up in a wide smile once in a while, soon to be replaced with gripping scenes of cat-and-mouse game between the bombers and terrorist groups marching ferociously in the film, and that’s more than enough to keep me glued to my seat.
That concludes that Paradise Now has given me a sheer joy of pure cinematic entertainment.