Parallel storylines tell the current state of affairs for two ex-lovers: Nora's a single mother who comes to care for her terminally ill father; holed in up in mental ward, Ismael, a brilliant musician, plots his escape.
Paul is preparing to leave Tajikistan, while thinking back on his adolescent years. His childhood, his mother's madness, the parties, the trip to the USSR where he lost his virginity, the friend who betrayed him and the love of his life.
The other reviewers already provided extensive descriptions about the movie's plot and characters. So I will just skip it. This is a slow-paced movie but it flows in its own pace and takes you with it. There are some parts that you can relate to yourself, even though you are not a traumatized veteran, that makes you go "ahhh I know the feeling" or "It happens to me, too". I loved the way the dreams were shown to the audience. That made the movie more interesting and fun to watch for me. Benicio Del Toro was great as always. He adjusted himself to the slow-pace of the movie so well that it feels so natural. And thank God that I finally could see him at least kiss a lady in a movie. Hallelujah! Although at times, I must admit it was hard to believe that he was Native Indian, especially in the scenes when he is surrounded by real Native Indians, he still pulls it so well and gives a terrific performance, so much that you feel for him, and believe that he is in fact a person with a soul pain. I also loved how well Mathieu Amalric played the eccentric anthropologist although his character's eccentricity was a bit of cliché. He still managed to make me believe in his role. All in all, if you are not into fast-paced action movies or movies with a surprise unexpected turn of events, but more inclined to watch real world movies with a human touch, than you should give this one a chance.
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