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|Index||52 reviews in total|
Having watched several movies of this type before I found nothing in particular that this movie had to add that I haven't seen in other movies earlier. Their concept of time is very loose, and sometimes the viewer has no idea how much time has passed. Character development isn't anything to cheer for, and I'm not even sure I think the story makes sense. I would recommend anyone to view 'Bend it like Beckham' instead as it's much more rewarding. Another annoying thing I found about the movie is that the sex-scenes don't really bring anything to the movie. They seem irrelevant and are there purely for the sex itself. It's not like we feel they bond more.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I am a big fan of Ken Loach. Huge fan. That's why I disliked this movie
so much. It has nothing of his touch.
The story is absolutely predictable (God! I even knew that he was not going to be able to get in the house after their first fight) and there is nothing new. It's a story we already saw many times, with an obvious script, fair performances and just OK story telling. It never moves you, it never shocks you, it never really does anything to you.
There is a Turkish/German movie that was shown during the Berlin Festival I think it is called "Against the wall" or something similar. Now, there is a movie! In Ae Fond Kiss there is no roar material like in "Sweet sixteen", the great performances of "Secrets and lies", not even the humor of "Riff Raff". There is a lot of plain nothing.
And the first scene! Please! Let's not make more political speeches to open a movie. Let's make political statements! Lots of them! But not in the form of pamphlets. Remember Land and Freedom? It's hard to believe that we are talking about the same director here...
That word is of course relative. What is racism? Where goes the border
between being incorporated in your culture and looking down on others?
The question is relevant also for Muslims in Scotland.
Ken Loach is a passionate director watching everyday-life in a passionate way. You always get engaged in his people. You come to know them and feel for them.
In this film the catholic girl is the most abused part and the Muslim boy the one who has to struggle most against prejudice. The end is predictable, but the travel towards it exciting. The good powers win.
Ken Loach dares to criticize and understand at the same time.
Seeing Ken Loach's film at AFI Fest, I was positivelly surprised. A Fond Kiss is a very effective portrayal of a love story surviving the toughest social dilemma's. This film dealing with the inter-racial relationship between a Muslim pakistani young man and a catholic irish woman all set in Glasgow, Scotland, does an excellent job in giving insight in the family values of pakistani and Indian muslims in a predominantly catholic British environment. Dealing with generation gaps between parents and children, it also puts the Muslim beliefs in a slightly different limelight, where destiny is not so much determined by faith but by family principles. A great set up has the audience warm up to the film's characters very effectivally and engages us into the story right off the bat. The acting is powerful, and the theme never is 'preached' to us. The director does a fantastic job pulling us in to a world which might be far away from our own beliefs and lifestyles, but has us all look beyond the apparent differences to see the true value of love. The theme and characters might not speak to everyone, but undoubtfully it is a great piece of film making.
Have you seen "Bend It Like Beckham"? That and "Monsoon Wedding" explore culturally different approaches to coupling of men and women as does Fond Kiss. Fond Kiss is nicely acted, I felt, yet the movie left me unsatisfied. The tension and conflict were established and reinforced well - almost too well to the point of being nearly oppressive, but then that was a fundamental element of the film. The conclusion, however, was very inadequate. We've all seen movies in which the story line seems to get drawn to a close too quickly or without really resolving the key problem or explaining how the difficulties of the main characters were going to be handled. Some will probably say that the film did indeed take care of this to which I would reply, perhaps, and if that's so, then again, the story was not entertaining. Good film, but not entertaining. Well acted, but not enjoyable. You get the idea.
Done with broad-strokes rather than the intimate details of true differences and huge challenges that go along this bridging of cultures. The intention is very well appreciated but the complexity of the Muslim culture seemed simplified. Most of the problems discussed were basic rather than substantial. The characters seemed to go on an auto pilot rather than the clarity that needs to exist for a fuller more in depth experience. Too much indicating and very little dimension. The filming style does not really have any impressive thinking behind it. It seemed as though everything was put together in the last minute. This fascinating subject should be the focus of a much better film that deals with the integrity of the problem honesty rather than trying to please everyone as was the intention of this film
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Does multiculturalism really work. How much of an immigrant's original culture must be kept? How high are the barriers between racial groups? How do you impose the old ways on young people in a new country? Here is a Pakistani family living in Glasgow for many years. Even the father speaks with a thick Geordie accent. The family lives in a tidy middle class home like other Scots families. They run a typical neighbourhood shop. Yet even with all this, the old ways die hard. The father's rule is law. Marriages are arranged. Straying from custom brings shame upon the entire family. Think LaTraviata. So when this nice Muslim boy dumps his arranged bride to be and movers in with an Irish Catholic music teacher.... This is a vivid examination of an all too common problem in the UK (and, for that matter, here in Canada.)It's a fine film. However the Scots accents are so thick that I had to turn on the closed captioning to understand the dialogue. The sex scenes are a little too graphic. And >>>>>>>SPOILER HERE<<<<<<<<<< this was the last film I ever expected would have a simplistic "they all lived happily ever after" Hollywood ending. Until that point it had been a thoughtful examination of a complex and near insoluble social problem. I expect better of Europeans.
The strength of this movie lies in that it brings up really interesting and worthwhile points about cultural clashes and the tragedy of the kids who no longer really are part of the old culture yet are trapped by the older generations who insist on it and call the shots. The film really explores both aspects of cultural clashes, the minority and the majority and basically comes out with the conclusion that they're both bigoted. The major problem for me was that the main two characters, particularly the Catholic Irish girl, didn't really seem to have that deep of a connection. We see them having a lot of sex and then arguing about culture but that's all they seem to have going for them. For the whole movie to hinge on our belief of their affection for one another seemed ridiculous for me, and ultimately, I don't believe in the choice that they've made. I would give this film a higher rating if the girl was intentionally supposed to be annoyingly uncomprehending of any cultural issues outside of her own selfish will, and if we are purposefully supposed to disagree with them and see their decision as a rash one, but I don't think we are. I think this is supposed to be a story where we really care about them and feel happy about their choice at the end, that love wins out no matter what. Instead, I don't really believe their love is going to last and see the girl as irrationally selfish and the boy as completely whipped and irresponsible. The abstract ideas presented in the story are very strong and I'm absolutely glad someone is asking these questions, but I find the actual premise of the story weak and unbelievable.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Ken Loach has always been a bit of an odd fish. Some people speak of
him with a sense of awe, which is something I could never understand.
Those few films of his that I have glimpsed always seemed to be dreary,
dull and, for want of a better word real; but real in a bad way, like
soap operas try to be real. When those lights of the cinema dim and a
hush cascades over the audience I want to be entertained, taken to a
magical world. I don't want to be reminded of Pat Butcher chain smoking
in a nicotine yellow café.
Thankfully this film side steps that entire proletarian, only happy when it rains, content in our misery melancholy and is a far lighter affair.
I was wary at first, after all the plight of a second generation Pakistani Muslim that falls for an Irish Catholic lass and has to fight cultural prejudice really has no similarity with my own life. In fact the whole notion of extended families, arranged marriages and family responsibility is quite foreign to me. I needn't have been so wary, as this film is a reminder that the language of love is universal.
Where it succeeds is in its superb casting. From the opening scene the feisty Tahara (Shabana Bakhsh) will have you hooked, with a performance that highlights the effects of race related bullying, and reminds us that it is still very much alive in this country. Of course this film is not primarily about Tahara, it is about her older brother Casim (Atta Yaquab), and Roisin (Eva Birthistle).
Once I heard Roisins Irish accent there was no escape for me. With any film based around a romance it is always important to in some way fall in love with one of the leads; something Eva pulls off with ease. Her performance here is unbelievably strong, reminiscent of an Irish Scarlett Johanson. Where has this actress been hiding? It is Eva's portrayal of vulnerability, heartbreak and compassion that lend the proceedings a sense of realism. Roisin is a real character, her emotions are real; to the point that it feels invasive, if not voyeuristic, that we are watching her.
At times you will want to reach into the screen and give her a hug, letting her know it's all going to be okay and that Casim is not good enough for her. One such time is when her parish priest, superbly played by Gerard Kelly, launches into a tirade of condemnation at her behaviour. He makes you want to run along to church immediately to confess your sins, not matter what your religion is; and I thought that Casim's family were being tyrannical!
Not only is this film entertaining, but educational too. The sympathetic and understanding portrayal of the Pakistani Muslim culture that incorporates a very strong case for arranged marriages, can do nothing but enlighten those of us that live in predominantly white areas The only problem arranged marriages have is that the fun of being in love IS the risk; the sheer panic that the next word you say may cause the object of your desire to rush out of your life never to be seen again. This is what makes Casim's and Roisin's roller-coaster of a relationship such great viewing; where as a marriage based on common sense is a contradiction in terms.
The sex scenes are worth a mention, not because they are explicit, but because they are so immediate and genuine. It truly feels like this is the first time this couple have been intimate with one another, with the same awkwardness and use of humour. We do not see a great deal of their bodies, but the emotion and the eroticism is powerful enough to fluster any viewer. But again this is because we feel like a voyeur, peeping in through a window at a couple connecting physically and emotionally for the first time.
Not to be too over dramatic, but this film could be the greatest Romeo and Juliet story since Shakespeare. The development of the relationship between Casim and Roisin is delicate and touching; never overly sentimental or romantic, with an ending that fittingly retains an ambiguity; after all, in love nothing is certain.
I struggled through this movie last night. Basically it has terrible
acting, editing, dialogue, sex scenes. The story is well old at this
point. The plight of Pakistani family in Britain, culture clash with
the British and the second generation Pakistani kids and their parents
yearning for the values of the homeland. The relationship was not well
developed either, it left the viewer questioning if it was SO strong he
was willing to lose his family for her. A badly scripted contrived
fight scene where she wants him to stay with her in the flat after her
job problems, rather than go to a business meeting to help fulfill his
dream, unlikely, or was that to develop the sense of the greedy selfish
western white woman?
Some of the acting was atrocious, on the whole a very amateurish effort. A long winded drawn out attempt at re-hashing an old story.
I wonder how many other movies didn't get made so this story could be re-told?
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