|Index||3 reviews in total|
Quick ways to describe this film: funny, odd, exotic, sexy, edgy, sublime, obvious, witty, quirky and surprising. With one foot firmly planted in a melting pot of film noir references, and the other foot stomping about those "crime gone wrong" style flicks, thrown up on the screen with saucy and unique Canadian humour, "3 Days in Havana" is the kind of film you just can't help but love. Shot gorgeously all over Havana, it's part crime drama, buddy comedy, thriller and exotic travel expose, filled with the raw, decayed beauty and a myriad of historical pasts from revolutions to Mafiosos. Written, produced and directed by life-long pals Tony Pantages and Gil Bellows for under $1M (you'd be amazed at how great they made it look with such a tight budget), "3 Days in Havana" might not impress film buffs who take themselves too seriously, but if you enjoy your stories spicy, twisted, exotic and odd, this one is for you!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I've been travelling to La Habana for about 20 years, was a travel writer about the place for a while, have probably done 20 radio interviews about Cuba and wrote a book that was pretty well received and paid for a few extra trips there. Americans don't and can't accurately represent Cuba in their reportage, docs and dramas; everything they write and film about the place has a political filter. And I expected this picture to be like every other one that has attempted to tell a story that unfolds in this place. And (redundantly) I was shocked! Bellows and Pantages get it and got it. Habana is, as it must be, a character in the story; the worn out buildings, the eclectic people (even the old doll with chicklet teeth and capri pants), the Coco Taxis, the Malecon, the rum/cigars/chicas. Cuba is a ruse: nothing is as it seems; better or worse. And this narrative fits Cuba perfectly. Nothing is as it seems. When I saw MacKellar and Bellows names attached; I frankly expected another cheesy Canadian Telefilm special. I was wrong. Perhaps the most incredible story in the history of Canadian movie making; that a thriller of this quality can be made for a million (less than the catering budget for most pictures). Congratulations, Fellas. And if any producers are reading this review and looking to make a picture, you'd be crazy not to give these guys a call.
"3 Days In Havana" is as cool and handsome as it is playful and
intelligent. The kind of film the Coen Brothers would write and direct
if the Coen Brothers' sensibilities were rooted in the Canadian manner.
This film has all kinds of beauty and heart and yet, it is equally
relentless in its dark humour, political skullduggery, and sexy
Think of it this way: What if you were travelling to Cuba, beholden only to an ostensibly sorry-assed, several day business Conference in Havana. And then along came a dose of seduction. Followed by a second dose of underground allure. "Hey!" You might think to yourself... "I'm where I don't need to be me, at least until the Conference begins. What's the worst that could happen?"
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