|Index||7 reviews in total|
I went to see this movie with a pretty large group of people. Everyone
liked the director's previous work, everyone had seen the trailer and
was fairly excited for the film. Afterwards- 3 out of 27 people liked
I was one of them. The others were blindly mouthing things like "Complete trash", "so boring", "pointless". Although my simple solution to the question why nobody liked it IS "because they're idiotic", additionally I have to say that perhaps if you're someone who has never even asked himself who he is, just goes to the gym, hangs out, works and yes, goes to the cinema- then I'm sorry, not only did you not get what the movie is about but it was like the Forbidden Land to you.
The movie is amazing, it's just very different. And exactly this makes me completely crazy about it, as well as it makes most people dislike it. Yes, it doesn't even follow a strict plot, yes, it moves kind of slowly, but after all the idea is exceptional. It's not about cancer, or war, or love, it's about what's inside a person, how he identifies himself or more- how society does it for him and he's left questioning everything, from who his parents are to his daily mood.
Very rarely are movies like this made and I think it's freaking insulting and shameful to give it such a low rating, while some horrible BG movies like the disgrace to art Love.net have over 8.
What was this movie even about..? No idea what happened... Lots of pretty shots, locations and music. But apart of that I was waiting for something to happen the entire time. It's like 2 movies got mixed together in the editing. Or maybe the three editors were each given a piece and at they end they just stitched them up in the resulting nonsense. Yes, we saw Laetitia Casta's butt... but was it worth the wait. I don't think so. (My friend liked it because she found out she looks like the main actress) Trying to be deep but resulting in nothing at all. Or maybe too deep for my ordinary brain to comprehend. Anyway, not worth your time.
Bulgarian screenwriter and director Kamen Kalev's second feature film
which he also wrote and co-produced with Anguel Christanov and Fredrik
Zander, is a Bulgarian-Swedish co-production which was shot in Paris,
France and on various locations in Bulgaria. It tells the story about
Daneel and Sophie, a happy young couple who lives in Paris, France. In
order to get a break from their everyday life in the city they have
decided to take a vacation. Sophie has arranged everything for them and
is looking forward to surprise Daneel, but when they arrive at the
airport and Daneel learns that they are traveling to Bulgaria, he
freaks out and begins to tell Sophie things that she didn't know.
Finely directed by Kamen Kalev and notable for it's ardent naturalistic milieu depictions and the compelling cinematography by Bulgarian cinematographer Julian Atanassov, this humorous and insightful tale draws an invariably engaging portrayal of two young lovers who while vacationing on an idyllic Island discovers new things about themselves and one another. Impelled by it's colorful characters, this philosophical and well-paced independent film which is superbly written and narrated depicts an extraordinary study of character about a young man's astounding catharsis.
Examining themes such as interpersonal relations, self-discovery and coming-of-age, this atmospheric and life-affirming love-story is reinforced by it's quick-witted dialog, Danish actor Thure Lindhardt's exceptional acting performance and the fine acting performances by French actress Laetita Casta and Chilean actor, screenwriter and director Alejandro Jodorowsky. A charismatic, romantic, adventurous and exhilarating fictional story about a capricious relationship.
It's a rare for a young director to score high on making his second
movie, especially if the first one was successful. Unfortunately, this
is the case with «The Island». As much as Kamen Kalev's debut, «Eastern
Plays», was emotionally intense, is this one empty and abstract.
Daneel, the main character, remained almost as vague and distant to me
at the end as he was in the beginning which was promising to take us on
an inner journey of emptying his mind and filling his heart. There was
some attempt of conflict between him and his girlfriend but it was cut
in its beginning and did not develop at all.
Laetitia Casta seems to have been chosen for the lead female role based on her prominence as a model and beautiful body, not dramatic skills. Her emotional range was limited to either a seductive look or sullen temper.
Since the beginning of cinema, as science, art and philosophy many
filmmakers have been attempting to explore the human soul. Very few
have achieved to go even close to the truth. Paradoxically when
filmmakers achieved this gigantic and unthinkable mission sharing it
with the audience they in the best case become recognized and
appreciated after their death.
The Island is a bold and very brave attempt from Kamen Kalev and everybody who helped him to meditate on what is deep inside us, the foremost within us. The film brings us into a condition of watchfulness where you are not entertained by the plot, there are many flaws into the film's structure and even narration and exactly these flaws make the film so unique and powerful.
This film is for meditative people, who have at least one time in their life closed their eyes and breath with awareness.
Eccentric, extravagant and provocative, "The Island" is bound to be
misunderstood and rashly dismissed as incoherent by the majority of its
audience. In fact, the film is a bold experiment with story-telling,
which proves a challenge for more than one dichotomy as well as for the
persistent notion of the One and True (self/story/style, etc.). It
dares our spectators' habits by en- and decoding its various parts as
belonging to a certain genre or media, only to confuse and mix them in
a way that denies us the option of choosing one over the other. As
spectators, we might be irritated, disoriented or pointing triumphantly
at the "clichés" and "references" of which the film swarms. But we
might also be charmed by the ease with which it manages to provoke this
instability: without being didactic or, even worse, moralistic. "The
Island" is ironic, but not compromising (which is, indeed, a merit,
especially regarding its second part); it is challenging but not
aggressive. It is also intelligent and allows a reading at various
levels, of which the media-reflective is certainly only one
"The Island" is neither the story of a person, who manages to escape his dull reality as a businessman only to find his true self, nor the kitschy over-ambitious project for a media grotesque both readings suggested by some reviewers and critics. Instead, I would insist that exactly by bringing together all of its contradictory elements, styles and displaced allusions, does the film succeed in being coherent in the most important aspect: in systematically resisting in being categorizable, univocal or loyal (loyal to the single myth, the single genre, the single story, loyal to the notion that divisions between profane and sophisticated can still be incautiously applied, or loyal to the idea of one-dimensionality). By doing so, a much wider and fascinating perspective unfolds, one that might be described as challenging but also as ethical as gentle as the moment in which the camera lingers on the contemplative face of a Big Brother star.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Although I do not watch Bulgarian films as a rule, I went to see this one,perhaps in the hope that it would have been better. Of late some Bulgarian TV series have led me to reconsider my negative view of Bulgarian cinema. What a disappointment!This film continues to have the typical weaknesses of Bulgarian cinema. Here are all the things I dislike so strongly:the maddeningly slow pace,the pretentiousness, the pseudo-psychologism and pseudo-philosophical depth,the primitive dialogs,the confused and totally unconvincing plots,the inability to tell a coherent story--yes, they are all here! As if the film had been made in, say, 1985 or earlier. It starts as a drama but somewhere in the middle it suddenly and unexpectedly turns into a satirical comedy. Not to mention the numerous interruptions in the story: dreams, memories or symbols all messed up in a hodgepodge without the authors bothering to explain and to clarify what is what. The trick to use two international stars ( Lindhardt and Casta ) to save the film will not do. They can't save it! And the beautiful landscapes cannot make up with everything else, alas! I watched Mr. Kalev's previous film too ( Eastern Plays) but I did not like it either. It is more of a documentary rather than a piece of art. I am not going to watch his third film whatever it is!
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