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Reviews & Ratings for
Nirvana More at IMDbPro »

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68 out of 85 people found the following review useful:

A masterpiece right under your eyes - but no one saw it....

Author: Dr_Nightfly from Milan - Munich
4 May 2004

Films generally carry a title for a reason. Salvatores's Nirvana's is the key to understanding it. Without the key, the film will look like rubbish, like many comments here testify. But, if you get that key and use it, it can become one of the most astonishing movie experiences you may make.

The title is not just the name of a videogame. That is totally incidental.

The movie is about the voyage towards Nirvana - the real thing - of two men (or maybe of one man and his own projection in a virtual world): how the two (or maybe the man and his own inner conscience) start to understand what Nirvana is and how they eventually reach it, in spite of all misadventures and (that is not casual at all...) the cycles of deaths and rebirths that the virtual self Solo (meaning alone, in Italian, not Star Wars' character - again not a coincidence) has to go through.

This is a movie about symbolisms. This is a movie about the deepest searches of the soul. Searches that cannot be disturbed by petty concerns (see Bebo Storti's apparently bizarre line after he appears in a flash for just a few seconds to shoot and kill a very unlucky henchman "I am MEDITATING [profanities deleted]!").

Science fiction is incidental to its aims, and provides a fabulously well used tool to unravel the story in what I regard as a cinematic masterpiece.

Blade Runner's climax ended on the recognition that replicants (and humans, maybe) were just "tears... in the rain". Nirvana's is about snowflakes that fall forever, and yet never fall.... Pity this is so far above the expectations of an average moviegoer that most viewers did not even recognize the genius in its simplicity. My congratulations to Cacucci, Corica and Salvatores!

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40 out of 45 people found the following review useful:

Extremely moody, perfect atmosphere & soundtrack

Author: KGB-Greece-Patras
17 October 2004

Alright, as I can see, we have very mixed reviews on this one. I personally really liked this sci-fi flick. What's so cool about it? No, no, it's not thought-provoking like eXistenZ of David Cronenberg and then again YES forget about Matrix - Nirvana is magical in a way a Hollywood film will never be. Almost surreal, Nirvana presents the future world in a most atmospheric way, and quite realistically manages to capture the decadent atmosphere of a future cyberpunk world.

What's no realistic at all, and oversimplifying is the whole plot and stuff. But who cares? Characters manage to be quite interesting, the music builds an awesome atmosphere. As you see, I don't try to intellectualise any of it: i like it for what it is, a small euro sci-fi that, at least to me, delivered the goods!

A recommendation... especially if you like Gibson-like, cyber-punk literature. BUT DON'T EXPECT TOO MUCH

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36 out of 44 people found the following review useful:

One of the best Cyberpunk pic ever...

Author: Switcher1972 from France
10 December 2002

An European hard-science action movie is rare these days, especially a good one, and Nirvana was a good surprise when released in France... The critics bashed it - with some interesting exceptions, and the public did not come to see it (bad promo material)... Nevertheless, it's still one of my favorite. This is not a Wakowsky Bros frenzy festival with "bullettime effect" (did you know that it was a french who created them ?) and kick-ass fighting, but Gabriele Salvatores (an "intellectual" director as it seems) did an excellent low-budget film with GREAT scenario, GREAT acting (Lambert at his best, seriously), a credible world...

It's not centered on the VFX, and it's great. Sometimes a bit slow, but it's for the "ambiance", and, what an ending... A must-see, not especially for Lambert-fans... Be open-minded, and try it...

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29 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Enjoyable cyberpunk movie!

Author: Sentinel-15 from Antwerp, Belgium
9 July 2001

Christophe(r) Lambert heads an international cast in this 1997 French-Italian(?) co-production. While the movie doesn't have the big budget a Hollywood blockbuster would have had, it still manages to create an interesting & convincing near-future world. Actually, it's one of the few films that really manage to create a decent cyberpunk setting; right now, I can only think of "Nemesis" which was a pretty good effort, and then there's always "Blade Runner", of course...

As for the acting in this movie, it's always tough to rate the level of acting when the movie is dubbed, but all in all I'm not complaining. Lambert is good, and Diego Abatantuono (sp?) is interesting as the sentient game character Solo - and kind of appropriate, too, since he has the physical look of a real-life "Mario on steroids". :-)

There are also several nice touches of humour, that prevent the movie from taking itself too seriously (check out the meditating guy later on in the movie for a nice example...). Finally, there is some nice music in there as well.

All in all, an enjoyable little movie - with cult potential, I think.

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27 out of 33 people found the following review useful:

Take a moment to rethink what your life game is all about.

Author: Joel (toocoolo) from Mexico City, Mexico.
30 March 2003

Solo suddenly finds out that what he's living has happened before. In the middle of a "deja-vu" he discovers that he's not really alive. He's just the main character of a video game, and he refuses to keep "playing" in a non sense life, where he'll be born and killed again and again and again. He tries to convince the people around him, that they are inside a game, that their lifes are not real; that everything that happens has already happened before. But its useless: he's the only one who realizes it. Like a prophet, like a Jesus or a Buddha, he has just realized what he is, and the stupid meaning of his life-game. And he's the only one who can speak to their creator; their designer: Jimi Dini, a succesfull video game designer of the real life. A real life where Jimi lives, depressed, bored and numb. He's got something in common with Solo, thats why he decide to help him, erasing the game, his last an great creation, Nirvana, before its too late.

Its not a matter of spoiling the great end of your life, but have you realized how repetitive it is? Maybe you should pay attention to Solo. Or try to find Jimi and ask him to be deleted.

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33 out of 46 people found the following review useful:

Better than the Matrix!

Author: HighlanderArg from Buenos Aires, Argentina
4 June 2004

OK, so you've always wondered what the matrix would be like with a good leading actor (rather than the wooden Reeves), a better script, no spectacular action scenes, and low budget. This is your film. We have Chris Lambert in one of his best films (along with "Subway" and of course, "Highlander"), this is not his average film. The goal is to erase the game in which its main character is aware of his condition of "gamething" and is damned to live and die. This Super Mario working for the Mafia (Abatantuono) is terrifically great. Sergio Rubini is great too, and the whole cast in general kicks ass! What to do with low budget? THIS MOVIE!


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22 out of 28 people found the following review useful:

2nd Best Cp movie ever - truly on the razor edge

Author: rgolan-trevize from Milano, Italy
12 October 2007

Gibson, Dick, Sterling all together in this movie... It's the only CP and real Sci-F movie ever made in Italy... I've had the fortune to see it in Italian and the depth of dialogs is great... The storyline follow the standard of Gibson's books... the plot is not necessary, but the landscape is everything and this is what happens in this movie.

I'm sorry for all the people who believe this is a crappy movie but in my opinion that means that they have never understood what cyberpunk means and how it must be represented... and this movie represents it.

Here there is everything: Sprawl, Hacking, Virtual Reality, Surviving, Cybermad, Corporations, Future...

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13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

An intriguing meditation on the nature of memory and experience, reality and simulation.

Author: Tylerdurden80
7 November 1999

Jimi, a computer programmer, is trying to finish his latest role-playing computer game Nirvana for the Okasama Star corporation. He is surprised to find that Solo, the lead character has developed awareness of his location in the game, the fact that every time he dies he is reborn, and that he is doomed to live out the same life and situations over and over again. He asks Jimi to delete the game.

Jimi needs to penetrate Okasama's mainframe, and enlists the help of many technological wizards. Chief among them are Joystick, a poor hacker (or 'angel') who has sold his eyes to raise money and now sees with the aid of small black and white cameras in his eye sockets; and Naima, a woman whose memories have been erased and who can only remember things with the assistance of artificially created memories loaded through a port in her skull. The mainframe is protected by sophisticated anti-hacking devices known as 'devils' which feed off memories and mental energy to destroy the brains of the angels who try to penetrate it. Jimi is also battling painful memories of his own - his lost girlfriend who disappeared from his life leaving only a video recording and a picture to remind him of her...

Although there is not much in this film for action buffs, there is conceptually a link to other films about simulated experience such as Total Recall and The Matrix, as well as some existential musings on the nature of memory and experience in the digital age where such things can be easily synthesised. A delightfully ambiguous ending emphasises the film's main themes.

Good use is made of a medium budget to simulate an anarchic future world sliding into decay, with a decline in morality and a low value placed on the sanctity of life and the human body - the streets of the slums are replete with organ thieves; and Joystick's synthetic eyes are a physical complement to Naima's synthetic memories. A strong visual style is complemented by an insistent soundtrack.

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8 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Fun and games in a future not too far from the present

Author: jotix100 from New York
23 September 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Director Gabriele Salvatores and his collaborators, Pino Caciucci and Gloria Corica, came up with one of the most stylish films in recent memory when they decided to undergo this project. "Nirvana", which was shot in Italy, was done for under ten million, something that in Hollywood it would have cost ten times more without any major stars. It shows how talented Mr. Salvatores, a director we had admired for his previous work, can produce a marvelous film with little. As he showed with his excellent film, "I'm Not Scared", the director is up to the challenge.

This film will resonate with sci-fi and cyberpunk fans who will clearly see a lot in this intricate movie that has some of the best special effects in quite some time. The costumes alone, designed by Giorgio Armani, Patrizia Cherecomi, and Florence Emir, are worth the price of the DVD rental. The atmosphere captured by Italo Petriccione's cinematography and the music by Federico DeRobertis and Mauro Pagani, are blended well in Massimo Fiocchi's editing.

The actors are all fine. Christian Lambert plays his role of Jimi Dini in his usual deadpan style, which helps set the tone of the movie. Diego Abatantuono, one of the best Italian actors of the last years makes a contribution with his Solo. Stefania Rocca, Emmanuelle Seigner, Amanda Sandrelli, add their beauty to the story.

"Nirvana" is a great film to look at, in the tradition of others of the genre. Gabriele Salvatores shows why he is one of the best Italian directors of his generation.

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6 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Cyberpunk film with computer games , fictitious environments and strange characters

Author: ma-cortes
30 July 2011

Nirvana results to be a peculiar Sci-Fi film with an intricate screenplay dealing with the complex relationships between a game designer and program and how the main character , through a virus, controls the artist . Jimi (Christopher Lambert), a successful computer game creator , finds that his latest issue has been infected by a virus which has possessed consciousness to the program's main role named Solo (Diego Abantautono). While Solo has a tormented relationship to a computer generator prostitute named Maria (Amanda Sandrelli). Jimi affected by the memory of his fled sweet heart named Lisa (Emmanuelle Seigner)and begged by Solo to finish its useless "life", starts a search for someone who can help him both to discover what happened to Lisa and to delete his game before it is released . Meantime he is being pursued by a nasty corporation . Later on , Jimi goes to Marrakech and Bombay contacts to Joystick (Sergio Rubini) and Naima (Stefania Rocca). As utilizing the plot of portraying a program within a program, the summary has the spectator haunting if what they are watching is actual or a virtual reality.

This is a sci-fi movie in middling budget full of thrills , symbolisms , some action and weird events . I won't say that there aren't any issues because there are but overall the acting is pretty flawless.The reason that I think Nirvana is more reviewable than pretty much any other film is the story and the philosophical and cyberpunk elements of the story because with every viewing I catch something I didn't see the previous time I watched it. Nirvana not only supplies the world with a whole new level of passable special effects mixed with style and substance, it also brings a whole new meaning to the word 'cyberpunk'. The story was sometimes lame but it's worth watching for the background events and the environment packed with neon lights in ¨Blade runner¨style . Acting wise the film works excellently. Interpretation was wonderful, script, visual, sound, everything about this film is a tribute to a usually overlooked genre. However , it contains regular cinematography , it's necessary an urgent remastering . The motion picture is efficiently realized by Gabrielle Salvatores .The constant theme of his movies is the escape from the problems of the modern world and the most of his movies include philosophical themes . Almost always casts Diego Abatantuono; frequently also casts Sergio Rubini . Among his most important films are ¨Amnesia¨ , ¨I'm not scared¨ , ¨Marrakech Express¨ ,¨ Quo Vadis baby ¨ , his successful and Oscarized ¨Mediterraneo¨ and of course ¨Nirvana¨ .

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