Cinema Donkey – Cinema Donkey is an Iranian comedy movie released in 2019. An independent film making crew is making a humanitarian movie and they need a donkey to be cast. Due to the limitations of the budget, they get a donkey roaming in the woods to be cast.
Cinema Donkey aka Cinema Khar was the opening film of the Bengaluru International Film Festival 2020. The movie has a satirical take on humanitarian preaching that goes around. The way the donkey is treated by the crew is quite opposite to what the moviemakers want to convey in their film.
The film in a way hits hard at the selfish agenda people have just appearing to look cool by promoting a social agenda while acting quite opposite to that. The film takes a dig at the propaganda surrounding animal rights, racism, gender bias and cosmetic industries.
The film script is concise and effective enough to convey the story. Right from the title sequence where the director clearly establishes the problem for the crew in getting a professional donkey. As the script progresses, there is always a conflict surrounding the donkey which the crew is trying to resolve which makes it a very interesting watch.
The movie starts with a dialogue where one of the characters tells a donkey is not connected to a human but ends in what appears to be a quite contradictory note. The script also has a subplot on the troubles of independent filmmakers and what it takes to get something on a screen. If you are to ignore the social message, you could still enjoy the process of film making and relate to the troubles they go through. In a way, I liked the fact that the movie had multiple layers.
High Points – The simple premise and the comedy has worked out very well, The climax is very impactful, The locations chosen has been very apt for the film.
Low Points – There is hardly any low points for the movie as it stays true to its genre and plot.
Overall I did enjoy watching Cinema Donkey and had a good laugh. It was even special watching with the director Shahed Ahmadlou and his crew in the theater. I would recommend this to be a must-watch for those who love satire.
The Bra Review – The Bra is a silent comedy-drama that is shot in Azerbaijan. Train driver Nurlan on his retirement day finds that his train has snagged a blue bra from the neighborhood. He sets on a journey to return the bra to the owner.
They say silence is golden. And it aptly fits the movie for if they have added dialgoues it would have lost its beauty and lost into either a cliched tale or become a gross comedy. People hesitate to speak about the undergarments as they are personal. So making it silent fits well with the plot.
As the movie starts we get to witness the beautiful landscape of Baku in Azerbaijan. The picturesque view of the mountains is equally matched with the sweet characters that are portrayed in the congested township through which the train travels. The boy at the tea shop who warns people every day of the train arriving steals our hearts instantly. Nurlan’s character is well established too as every day he goes back to the township to return the things that were snagged by the train. So it doesn’t come as a surprise when he sets out to return the bra that has been snagged by the train during his last ride.
The entire episode is a laughter riot as he adopts various techniques to return the bra to the owner. His obsession to find the right owner makes the tale very interesting one. The kid at the tea shop joins him in the quest and they make a great team. His efforts lead to unpredictable circumstances and how he eventually finds the owner when all odds are against him forms the rest of the story.
“Miki” Manojlović as Nurlan brings life to the character with his performance. His expressions speak a lot and you don’t feel the need for a language. Director Veit Helmer has dealt with the screenplay very well. The treatment of the movie is so artistic in nature that you don’t feel there are any obscene moments in the film. The cinematography and sound editing is amazing and adds additional charm to the visual. The scene in which Nurlans co-worker practices his musical instrument with running engine sounds is well made.
High Points – The movie being a silent is a high point, the visuals of Baku are breathtaking, performance of “Miki” Manojlović and the little boy, enjoyable comedy
Low Points – Hardly any low point for this one
Overall, The Bra is a movie for every cinephile. Board this train that takes you through picturesque landscapes and let’s you meet those beautiful people. You will walk out of the screen with a big smile on your face.
The Guilty Review – The Guilty is a Danish thriller released in 2018. Holm, a police officer is assigned to a desk duty while he is being under a disciplinary review. One night he attends to an emergency call from a woman in distress who is being abducted. What happens to be a boring last night of the desk job turns into a long night of desperation and fast-paced action to get her back safely.
I got to watch this movie at 11th Bengaluru International Film Festival http://biffes.in opening night. The movie starts with an extreme closeup shot of a headset and we see Holms attending a distress call. In the next few minutes, we are introduced to the typical life inside a police emergency call room. And very soon you realize you are going to experience the whole movie like that of a cop sitting on a desk and managing things. As you start to wonder if the next eighty minutes will it be interesting, your mind wanders as the call comes in and builds up the visuals as it recreates the scenes from the sound through the headset.
Director Gustav Möller has teased the brain cells into building the images that are as compelling as real scenes. The brilliant sound engineering playing through the Atmos speakers, aids the mind in building some great visuals. How much you would like this movie would depend on how best your mind can build the scenes.
Although the entire movie is on the desk of Holm, you are always on the edge of the seat in the thrilling ride. The director and screenwriters have woven in additional layers of Holm’s personal life crisis into the whole episode which increases the grittiness of the episode and makes you emotionally connect with it. Actor Jakob Cedergren has given a very compelling performance. His expressions on the extreme closeup shots, increases the grittiness of the tale.
High Points – Very gripping screenplay, short duration of the film, brilliant sound engineering, Actor Jakob Cedergren’s splendid performance
Low Points – If you struggle with imagining the visuals then you might find yourself disconnected.
As you walk out of the hall you have a full fledged action thriller. If you love thrillers, this one is a must watch
Ali, The Goat and Ibrahim Review – Ali, The Goat and Ibrahim ( Ali Mizah wa Ibrahim ) is an Arabic comedy drama film released in 2016. Ali a man who considers his goat Nada as his fiancee and Ibrahim a sound engineer who hears disturbing sounds in his ears meet at a clinic and embark on a journey together to find cure.
I watched this movie in the Bangalore International Film Festival 2018. The movie has a very interesting plot. Director Sharif El-Bindari has created the character of Ali and Ibrahim very well and makes us fall in love with them. You cannot fully understand the suffering of someone until you are in their shoes is an underlying message of this comedy drama. Right from the first shot the movie has a subtle reference to the prejudiced world that goes based on appearance and behavior. Police detain Ali for carrying a Teddy Bear suspecting it to be a smuggling racquet while they miss capturing a gang of folks kidnapping a women. Even Ali himself is seen having some prejudice about Ibrahim during their trip.
At time you would feel Ali is doing bit too much of being obsessed with Nada the goat. He can’t take any one calling his Nada as goat and he furiously. The journey puts them through various trials and builds a strong bond between them until some unexpected turn of events.
The lead actors portraying Ali and Ibrahim have done well. There are many moments you would laugh and the climax tops it all and makes you feel good. Nada the goat is yet another lovable animal character on screen. Although there are some cliched moments in the film, it still makes it a very enjoyable ride.
Overall Ali, The Goat and Ibrahim is a feel-good movie that would make you laugh and fall in love with life.
Very Big Shot Review – Very Big Shot is a Lebanese comedy film released in 2015. Three brothers who are into drug dealing business take up one last job before they set out to go clean and straight to open a restaurant business.
I had watched this movie in the Bangalore International Film Festival 2016. How I wished Tamil movie Jigarthanda’s second half was something like this. Anyways that is my personal views which many may differ to agree. Without getting into that argument let me talk about Very Big Shot. The movie is a gangster drug lord flick at the outset. However, there is a very sensible humor throughout the script right from the first shot. Once the gangsters figure out that film roles are spared from being screened at the airport, they decide to become a producer of a film. The movie gets very interesting from there on and it is a ride filled with loads of laughter.
The screenplay has been done very nicely to ensure there is a logical flow to the whole story. The characters have been created and established the way they fit into the situations well. There is no point it looks force fitted. Usually, comedy movies suffer from the phenomenon of force fitting humor into the script.
High Points: The scene where Ziad (eldest of the brothers) decide to make a movie to smuggle the drugs, the filmmaking scene where the Bhurka clad lady is stopped and the onlookers jump in to create a commotion without realising it is a shooting.
Low Points: As the humor is built around the movie making process, this humor may not work for all.
Overall, Very Big Shot is a wholesome entertainer that would make you laugh and keep you engaged throughout the movie. If you get a chance to watch this one do give it a try.