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i hate it when reviews go over the plot in detail. some scenes are
there just for the reason of creating ambiance, mood. they might build
up a story for the next move by a certain character, etc.
This is why i despise the only review above.
The movie is not a romantic picture you'd take your date out on Feb 14. Well, neither Feb 15, 16, and so on.
On the other hand, it is not "overdone" as Saving Private Ryan. As usual in life, it's got some humor, some drama, some mediocrity, some insanity. I'm not much of a critic, just a normal person, but i totally believed and "lived the movie" with the actors. They played beautifully. All of them. All three were outstanding by my standards ( again, which might be low for a critic )
What i can comment on with more understanding is camera work. 10 out of 10. Nothing extra to distract you from the main line. Even drama is in small doses, not to lose you in your own feelings.
It is not entertainment. It is more of an art. Watch it. Alone. And reflect on it.
I'm glad the IMDb featured this flick as its movie of the day, it is a great film and one which I think a lot of people passed over because it has... (shudder) sub-titles. : ) I am always aghast at some people's reactions to "foreign films" (in other words not Hollywood-produced), much less if it actually requires you to READ the dialogue. If you like war movies (and I am talking about those war movies which have you contemplate the brutality and morality of armed conflict, not those that glorify it... although those can be fun too) then you will... well perhaps "enjoy" is too strong a word as I found parts truly horrifying, not in a "look at the gore" way but in a "man is a terrible beast" way... so let's say "captivate" you with its intensity and what I felt to be an honest assessment of war and this conflict in particular. Greatly acted and a great idea behind the movie, this film gets 10/10 from me, though as I mentioned it is not the same 10/10 a LOTR or Star Wars gets, this movie is not a popcorn muncher but one that will get you thinking and keep you thinking long after the credits finish.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Three soldiers one Serb and two Bosnians are caught up in a countryside
trench in no man's land between Serbian and Croatian lines, while the
UN unwillingly gets involved in the situation because of media
This film is a critical satire of the meaningless of war and on how no one wants to get involved- but actually sit back (the UN) and watch or actually film the carnage (the media). It depicts the bleakness of the war, the UN's involvement and the intruding media presentation of it in black humour and sharp sarcasm, while still the suspense and the humanity of the situation doesn't get discarded- but makes it more fascinating and quite constructive.
The intelligent script and story are very fresh in portraying the madness of war and also building up the tension that never falters, as we see how much the two countries hate each other, with the soldiers continuously blaming each other for the war and the stupidity of the situation that they are in. It was definitely an unpredictable and confronting war story that didn't try to manipulate the circumstances for a change- but actually draws you into the mess.
The thing is at first you don't feel any for sorrow for the soldiers separately, as they are no worse than each other- but then after while we come to know them in detail and see their point of view. The main hatred you feel is towards the UN Leaders, as they sit back, unwilling to budge, while their soldiers sit around wanting to help... you would know what I mean especially at the end of the film, as the ending really does pack a punch and makes you question humanity.
Not only the UN's priorities and methods are questioned- but also the artful and shallow media that see this as good news scoop then actually coming across as caring for the welfare of the soldiers. There's one quote that provides that point from a news reporter that declines to film the bunker and explains that when you've seen one bunker, you've seen them all which is pretty ironic, well you'll what I mean when you see it.
The performances are impressive and truly absorbing from the three soldiers caught in this mess: Branko Djuric as Ciki, Rene Bitorajac as Nino and Filip Sovagovic as Cera . This film reminded very much of 'Three Kings' in the humour side of things, but also the grief you feel for those involved in the war- but 'No man's land' is far more involving and far less buoyant than 'Three Kings'.
What you get is a solid anti-war film that keeps you gripped to the end and when it finishes, it definitely leaves you pondering.
I saw this early this morning at the a film festival in Gotemburg.The
director was there and all.It´s a very frightening anti-war film that has
three main characters two of them are Bosnian´s and one of them is a
Serb.They are soldiers but also normal men.And war makes hate.This is a very
symbolic film I would call a masterpiece.Those three persons together shows
what war is:HELL.
The director Danis Tanovic himself says that it´s of course about just this war but it´s not like if you see this film in ten years you wont understand it.During their time on no man´s land they are civil to each other but the conflict continues and in the end that´s what is most important.The final scene of the film is superb.
A film that will go to film history.Worth to see by everyone.5/5
First of all, I think it's a shame that this film isn't listed under its Slovenian title 'Nikogarsnja zemlja'. Anyway, what we have here is quite an impressive piece of work. Danis Tanovic wrote and directed a debut that easily is one of the best films since the new Millennium. Seemly without trying, Tanovic succeeds in bringing what so many other directors desperately attempt and fail: namely a satirical attack on the absurdity and uselessness of war! But without losing grip on the suspenseful and credible story, an that's an extra achievement. The story is simple but efficient and stuffed with little ingenious findings and subtle sarcasm. No Man's Land involves three soldiers two Bosnians and one Serb trapped in a trench between the two fronts. One of the Bosnians is wounded and lying on a mine that will explode and kill everybody in a range of 50 metres. While he carefully tries not to move an inch, the other two soldiers are bickering about what side actually began the war. There's a group of UN soldiers trying to help them but these people are constantly facing obstacles, intrusive press people and obnoxious superiors that prevent them from saving the trapped soldiers. Tanovic sense of clever dialogue and his courage to openly condemn the situation in his homeland make this one of the most admirable films of the last few decades. I'm really really glad that this No Man's Land won the Academy Award for best foreign language film over that dreadfully over-hyped 'Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain'. One of the best choices the Academy ever made!
If this film is anything it is a true bite of reality. It does not preach or provide a drawn out moralizing conclusion. It does not take sides or provide possible solutions to a well-publicized conflict. What it does is that it provides a point of view of a director who has indeed seen it all and has been able to tell a story full of dark humor, satirical and comical, but most of all tragic. It is rare for a director to succeed commercially and/or critically coming from ethnical background that he is without compromising the story that is not easy to tell. Furthermore, this is not a Hollywood commercial product; having an excuse to use the conflict as the background in order to show some exquisite fireworks of shooting, escapades and a whole row of already recognizable clichés. What makes this film worth more that one watch is that it takes human life at its most vulnerable, that it is about communication or lack of thereof, the excellent use of international cast and different languages adding to the confusion of an understanding the conflict that was truly not understood by anyone.
The story was set in the Yugoslavian civil war in the early 90's. One
soldier from each side of the battle was trapped between the front lines
the two rivals. They cannot leave the trench because if they do, the army
will fire and kill them. To make things worse, there was a third soldier
was placed on a landmine, which would explode when the pressure on the
landmine is released (i.e. when he gets up from a lying down position).
This is such a sad story with plenty of extremely touching scenes. It provokes people to think that there are so many ridiculous things that people do to each other during wars. People think that by killing each other the problem can be solved. This is a highly upsetting idea. It also revealed the terrible bureaucracy of some organisations, which gives little regard for human life.
Although it portrayed that the two rival soldiers had a lot of anger and distrust between them, there are times that it showed that they are also human. The two of them talked and found out that there was a girl that they both knew. I think that they were living in the same country, and they were just like any other civilians, just like you and me. They could have been living the same type of life, and suddenly friends became enemies.
In this film there were no large scale battle scenes like in `Saving Private Ryan' or `Gallipoli'. However, this film is just as sad and emotionally provoking like any other outstanding anti-war movie. It tells people the absurdity of war, and how crazy people can be during war. I was very shocked to know that the soldiers in Yugoslavia really put landmines beneath bodies, so that when the bodies are cleared away, the landmine would explode and kill the dead man's friends and relatives. This behaviour is extremely sickening. The inventor of such landmines is also very disgusting. I wonder, how can people create such a sophisticated device, and use it in such a ruthless way to kill? I have always thought that, if these people who invent killing machines go to invent some other machines instead, maybe we would be living in the `future world' portrayed in the film already. Our technology would be more advanced than it is now.
However, nowadays the weapons are getting more complicated, advanced, deadly and destructive every day. It saddens me a lot, because I never understood why a war has to start. The most ironic thing is that, the man who decides to wage a war against another country is always unharmed, because he sits in his office and has a large team of army to protect him. He does not die in the war. But because of his decision, millions of young men have to die.
Though there is such a grave message behind this film, there is also a lighter side to it. There were a lot of scenes which are funny, and all the viewers laughed and clapped for the witty statements. For example, when the two soldiers were trapped in the trench, they were discussing which side did more war crimes. The soldier who got the gun won the argument, and the possession of the gun changed a few times. There was another scene which a soldier searched the pockets of a soldier whom he just killed, and found a picture of a naked man.
Another scene which everyone laughed was that, a soldier asked the soldier lying on the landmine if he was OK. The poor soldier replied 'Of course I am OK, I got shot, and then I was unconscious, and then woke up and found there is a landmine beneath me, and then the whole world is watching me, and then I want to go to toilet, and now I was greeted by rubbish statements from my friend'.
I hope this film would make people understand that wars are completely vile and barbaric, and no one would start a war again.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is a great film & fully deserving of it's best foreign language film.
No Man's Land never tries to follow the well-worn path of other films
involving enemies both stuck in the same dangerous situation. The two main
combatants never become friends during their ordeal (as shown at the end of
the film & little trust exist between the two (they are both only interested
in their own interests, not the other). Infact the most clear thinking &
compassionate of the three soldiers caught in the trench is the one who
can't get up because he is lying on a mine that could kill them
This film doesn't take sides in the conflict, it's more a human story than a war story, if any side is made to look bad, it's the UN.
Credit must be given to the Bosnian film industry on their handling of such a horrific part of their recent history in such a strong non-judgmental way. No Man's Land & another Bosnian co-production, Saviour, both stand as two of the best films on the subject of war made in the past decade. Both films avoid making statements on how was right or wrong in the Yugoslav conflicts that rampaged throughout the 1990's but show the hatred & division they have caused throughout the region. 9/10
This is a deeply disturbing film that everyone should see. It brings home the true insanity of war and the total depravity of the human mind. War is a sick, sick business that doesn't care about the human condition. It boggles my mind that some people think it was funny!! They need to spend a day in a war-torn country because they're too distanced from the horrors -- this is not MASH.
In the case of this movie, the Oscar was well deserved. The film was
nominated in the wrong category, though ('Best Foreign Language Film').
It should have been up for 'Best Picture', 'Best Original Screenplay',
'Best Director - and it should have won all of those. As far as I'm
concerned, this may very well be the finest film on the subject of war
- or conflict in general - that was ever made. I've never seen anything
similar; this film manages to show so many aspects of war, of human
nature; it somehow manages to capture the essence of something that is
inexplicable. Truly one of a kind and a must-see. And don't think for
one second that this is some pretentious drivel or slow art-house fare
- this is very much the opposite. 10 out of 10.
Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/
Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/
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