OUT NOW ON DVD
Denis Villeneuve / Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin / Drama-Action / 2016 / 15 / 121 mins
So you've seen a ton of thrillers, you know that Special Forces use Steven Seagal at will, you've even played video games (cheers Tom Clancy) - but you don't know the reality of it all, do you?
Every aspect of life has a gritty underbelly, and directors like Denis Villeneuve are keen to exploit them. Sicario was a contender for the Palme D'Or so I expected great things but in actuality it was oddly underwhelming. Let me explain: Sicario is the definition of a 'slow burner', a thriller that builds and builds, tension is drawn from every scene, and there is never truly an objective climax; the film is one great big heap of anxiety.
If that's your cup of tea, then great - go ahead and watch it, be my guest (and all that jazz) - but I know many won't like it. It may come across as more-drama-less-action which may alienate some viewers, especially for the way the film is shot. Although remember: this isn't a bad thing. In fact it looks fucking fantastic. So yeah, a lot of shots were dark and brooding, a repetition you see throughout, but the variation of shots, techniques (the use of the infrared cameras, satellite imagery - genius) seemed as if the CIA had actually commissioned a realistic interpretation of actual events.
Top marks for Blunt, who doesn't whimper into feminine obscurity. Del Toro was also good although he rarely emits much verbal flair (VILLENEUVE: Benicio, just do your 'mumbling Mexican' thang, okay?). Brolin was simply a quietly assured American macho-machine, which in Brolin's case must mean 'Be Normal'. And what about Daniel Kaluuya... last I saw of him was in this, now he's taking things seriously - LESSON NO.1 Comedians always make great actors.
Sicario feels like it should be over much quicker. The plot is slow paced to emphasise about the morals. I like that - it unflinchingly exposed the dark, grim side to daily life in the Special Forces. But, thankfully, it also managed to focus on the social impact - how Mexico is by and large affected by the cartel as well as the people meant to save them.
Intrigued by Tom Clancy & co.? Then watch this - you won't be disappointed.
OUT NOW ON DVD
Yorgos Lanthimos / Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Léa Seydoux / Comedy / 2016 / 15 / 118 mins
This is one of the strangest films I have ever seen.
Forgive me if I'm wrong but I'm guessing most of you aren't familiar with the work of Yorgos Lanthimos and many of you might be thankful because the majority of it, nay ALL OF IT, is fucking weird. The Lobster is no different. Here's the premise: in an alternate reality, the laws of The City (in what must be Ireland?) demand that those who are single must be taken to The Hotel where they have 45 days to find a partner or they will be turned into an animal of their choice. I've only scratched the surface...
The Lobster is explicitly simple with its concept of 'Love'. The characters are frank with their sexual desires and their stance is black and white: either you agree with The City and partner up or you agree with The Loners - escapees from society in the woods who strictly abide to independency. There is no grey area.
David (Colin Farrell) eventually comes across the narrator, the Short Sighted Woman (Rachel Weisz), because apparently originality does not exist. A couple can only function and 'fall in love', it seems, if they share a distinct similarity. Both David and the Short Sighted Woman are... well... short sighted. The lengths they are willing to take to forge their 'love' turn drastic toward the end, but that's just the sinister plot twist a man like Lanthimos takes (look no further than his previous effort Dogtooth).
It's an artsy film, but it's not necessarily a boring one. Scenes are drawn out so as to emphasise the uncanny lurking within every frame. The characters are deliberately weird, talking robotically, almost forced, but sometimes it just comes off as bland. However, I really rooted for David and his partner - I felt oddly connected to them, hoping they would emerge triumphant. Amongst all this weirdness they seemed to form a strangely beautiful and human relationship. I guess the satirical setting accentuated that all the more. However, I'm well aware many people won't take to the surrealism on show.
Watch at your peril.
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