|Index||4 reviews in total|
Currently on Sky Movies Premier, I thought I'd give this a try.
At first I found the time and setting rather manipulative and possibly distasteful - why bring back yet more flashbacks and memories of 9/11 - and just for the sake of a rather mawkish drama.
A Muslim Pakistani taxi driver sends his ten year old to LA on a plane, on Sept 11. He also works in a restaurant at the Top of the World Trade Centre. A fed-up mature air steward who has a habit of speaking her mind gets stuck with the boy when the plane is emergency grounded after the attacks. She then attempts to try and connect the boy with his father - and connect with the kid herself, but culture and religious clashes hinder at every turn.
There's a load of implausibilities to contend with too and writer/director Travis Fine mixes every modern directorial cliché in the book at it. The ten year old Pakistani boy is typically precocious, doesn't eat meat, ice-cream or anything 'normal' at all. He's also a right clever little person.
But holding it together is the great performance by Melissa Leo, who won an Oscar for best supporting actress in The Fighter, 2010. Almost too predictably, she's hard drinking, scornful, rough round the edges and bitter. She's strangely unaffected by her country being sent into turmoil and chaos. Chuck these human flaws around a Muslim ten year old with naive and hopelessly idealistic attitudes and it's a recipe for conflict, anger and yes, tenderness. In my view, these are the reasons to watch this movie.
These aspects and the road movie elements remind me of Walter Salle's Brazilian 'Central Station' but that is a FAR better movie in every respect.
I wouldn't have normally watched this movie given its subject and type and I'm still in two minds as to whether it was worth my time. It's not all bad, by quite a way but will fall under most people's radar - and understandably so.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is an eloquent essay about the impact of love and loss, as well as the way that mass hysteria can very quickly peel back the thin veneer of civility that society often adopts, to expose the divisively defensive nature of humanity. The quality of writing and direction is of such quality that the film simply flows. I can't remember the last character I saw Melissa Leo play, but that is because she becomes each character so completely that you forget it is her playing them. Anthony Keyvan, is in all senses, a worthy opposite for Leo; where Montine (Leo) is a neurotic mess, and a mass of contradictions, Omar is straight-forward and analytical, and exudes the sweetness and purity of youth spent in contemplation without worldliness. Prepare to fall in love with the protagonists, and to cry with despair at the same time as warming with optimism.
This is the story of a battle weary air stewardess who has to return a
young Muslim boy to his father following 9/11.
This is a familiar clash of cultures drama lifted way above the mundane by great performances by the leads Melissa Yeo (absolutely outstanding) and Antony Keyvan and a strong supporting cast.
She is the world weary American and he is the frightened young Muslim boy just wanting to get home to his dad. The film explores well the prejudices held by all parties and how easily they can be broken down.
This is simple, moving but beautifully well written and shot film that is a cut above many other higher budget dramas. This film deserves a much wider audience and is well worth a watch.
The story unfolds really well. It does not attempt to forward some kind
of touchy-feely message for Muslims. It does show a little violence,
but not much of that, nor is it harsh in explicit language.
It does not center on the 9/11 tragedy, but it is about a boy and a woman who need to work around the problems of a grounded nation. If you are looking for a movie to watch on a Sunday afternoon, I highly recommend this movie.
Really, the feel of the movie does include caring about people who are not like each other. The dialogue and interaction between the actors is both realistic and inspiring.
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