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.
Tel Aviv On Fire Review – Tel Aviv On Fire is an Arabic comedy-drama released in 2018. Salam is a Palestinian living in Jerusalem. He is working on a Soap opera as a scriptwriter. He gets his plot ideas from the commander at the check post he passes through. As the show becomes popular, the commander wants the climax to be changed the way he wants.
Director Sameh Zoabi has crafted a witty screenplay at the backdrop of a socially tense situation. The movie is hilarious right from the first shot. The scenes shift from the soap opera to the real life effortlessly. The brilliance in the screenplay makes you interested in progress of both the tales the real story as well as the story of the soap opera.
Kai’s Nashif is very convincing as Salam. His performance is witty and enjoyable. The inspiration he looks for writing the script is quite hilarious and later we see that it has a stronger connection to his life too. Yaniv Bitton steals the show as the commander at the check post. His asks are unexpected and helps in bringing some surprises in the plot.
High Points – The comedy in the script, the background score elevates the scenes, the interwoven plots of soap opera and the real life, ending of the movie is very entertaining
Low Points – Folks who do not like this kind of comedy may not enjoy the movie.
Overall, Tel Aviv On Fire is an entertaining drama, that has a very satirical take on the Soap Operas and also brings the funnier side of people although separated by political system to the forefront.
Aandavan Kattalai Review – Aandavan Kattalai is a Tamil satirical film released in 2016. A young man named Gandhi runs away from his village and meets a broker to help him go to London to work. However, his visa gets rejected. Was Gandhi able to go to London? This forms the rest of the plot.
Director Manikandan once again has portrayed desperation of a common man so beautifully in Aandavan Kattalai. The script is full of satire. It not only makes you laugh but has a very strong statement against middle-men. The characters of Gandhi, his friend Muthu Pandi and news reporter Karmegha Kuzhali has been sketched very well. In particular, the first 40 minutes of the movie belongs to Yogi Babu playing Muthu Pandi role. His witty dialogues are a rib tickler. Post that there is a little bit of dullness in the script which again picks up once Gandhi meets Karmegha Kuzhali. The absence of Yogi Babu is filled by Vinodhini Vaidyanathan playing the role of a Junior lawyer. The court scenes are hilarious.
The biggest strength of the movie is the script. Manikandan has touched upon many social issues surrounding middle-men. Not just the travel agent he also portrays a house broker who has left the job of a policeman in order to earn more money. Apart from this, he has also touched upon the issues of bachelor’s not getting a house, Srilankan Tamil’s, loopholes in the court proceedings and so on.
High Points: The script, Yogi Babu’s comedy, Vijay Sethupathi, Rithika and Yogi Babu’s characterization, the social message to avoid middle-men.
Low Points: There are portions in between where the story gets a little bit dull but it picks up quickly.
Overall this comes as a complete package that will make you laugh and also think. A movie that you would enjoy watching with your family.
Worth a Watch