Thursday, 26 January 2017

Denial (3/5, Regular)

A strong, thought-provoking story based on real events that grasps controversial debates about the Holocaust with a politically-correct approach.
This film is based on the trial between British Holocaust denier John Irving and American Historian Deborah Lipstadt which was initially about diffamation resulted into a symbolic fight against racists and Neo-Nazis supporters. The arguments presented by Irving (impeccably portrayed by Timothy Spall) are still very frightening for a modern society traumatized by the cruelty of Mankind in World War II.  Lipstadt is the symbol of that society, which Rachel Weisz enacts very well, that does not forget and cannot tolerate people who denied the horror of the past. Faced against a racist and antisemite character, she finds herself in the arena with British lawyers (with Tom Wilkinson at the head) to shut out Holocaust deniers. 

There are emotional sequences, such as one taking place in Auschwitz, which bring the soul of the people who suffered at that time. Those scenes are the heart and soul of the film which opposes to the trial scenes, quite dull most of them. The film does not seek to explore these real differences and why this Holocaust denier keeps being one. As a geeky person, I have wondered why those differences exist despite massive evidence of the Nazi horrors?  Shame the film did not go through that and instead went into a good/evil dynamic to reach Hollywood standards.
It is still an interesting film and quite a strong topic to think about. This film talks about Holocaust deniers which is one of the greatest taboos today and it decided to portray this battle in a trial that occurred in the mid-1990s. Solid but not excellent.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

A Monster calls (4/5, Good)

A coming-of-age film with a Del Toro’s “Labyrinth’s Pan” inspiration whose structure is quite alike a fairy-tale. However not all tales are easy to go through.

We all remember the short stories they use to read when we were younger. Not all of them are easy but are inherently constituted by societal morale. These were the rules that you had to follow in order to be accepted by society. However, this film goes against that and asks the viewer: and what if there are some obstacles from which that there are no recipe to face them? What if those obstacles are too harsh?

The Tree, voiced by the deep and unsettling voice of Liam Neeson, personifies what many people would feel about this obstacle that 12-year-old Conor is facing. This can be from empathy, companionship, sorrow and anger. His strong bond with his mother (the solid Felicity Jones) is his strength but also his weakness. The Tree asks also the darkest existential questions: what if love becomes something so dark that it makes it hard to wake up everyday? Is that same love the one that will help you to see the light again?
Apologies for not telling anything about the story but we believe that this film is much better off that way. You should sit and let yourself go by its story. What struck us the most was its ability to captivate the viewer with each sequence involving the Tree and how the viewer becomes a protagonist in interpreting the morale. It is not as obvious as you think but remember, in all tale there is something to learn at the end. 

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