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In this film, told almost entirely in iambic pentameter, She is a scientist in a loveless marriage to Anthony, a devious politician. He is a Lebanese doctor in self-imposed exile, working as a chef in a London restaurant. They meet at a banquet and fall into a carefree, passionate relationship. But the contempt He perceives as a Muslim immigrant to the UK causes him to break up with She, offering little in the way of explanation, and return to his homeland. She drags his reasons out of him little by little and tries to sympathize. Keenly feeling the loss of his love, She flies to Havana to sort things out on the beach and in the cabarets. She sends him a ticket, but harbors no illusions that He will join her in this Carribean melting pot... Written by
First off, you need to set your expectations. This is an extremely arty film. There are no explosions, chase scenes, or guns in this movie.
Instead, we have a film with metaphors, themes and relationships. There are few movies I have seen recently that attack such large and serious topics.
The major themes in this movie are God, love and politics. During the course of the movie, racism and war, terrorism and the Middle East, infidelity, atheism and Marxism are all brought on stage.
As if that weren't enough, the majority of the dialog is in rhymed verse, with perhaps occasional interjections of free verse. In fact, the entire very contemporary script has a vaguely Shakespearean feel to it, though there is no shortage of four letter words.
The entire cast of the movie is wonderful, but the centerpiece of the entire film is Joan Allen, who gives an almost supernaturally wonderful performance. The heart of the movie is a moving love story, but this is a serious romance with strong, deeply emotional scenes designed to reflect adult, rather than teenage, themes.
There are also major metaphors in the movie, such as the role of cleaning, which usually stands for an attempt to wipe out guilt or corruption, and the use of glass, and particularly glasses of water, to show the way different viewpoints distort a particular perception of reality.
If you are prepared to see a very serious, beautiful made, and extremely arty film, then this is an excellent way to spend your time. I simply loved the movie, and would probably enjoy seeing it again sometime soon. But please, don't bother to go if you are looking for something else. This is a very heartfelt and intense movie, which refuses to compromise.
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