Laura is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after the murder of her husband and son, and goes on vacation with her sister to Burma. After losing her passport at a political rally, she...
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Laura is trying to pick up the pieces of her life after the murder of her husband and son, and goes on vacation with her sister to Burma. After losing her passport at a political rally, she is left on her own for a few days, during which time she falls in with students fighting for democracy. She and their leader, U Aung Ko, travel through Burma, whilst witnessing many bloody acts of repression by the dictatorship, in an attempt to escape to Thailand. Based on a true story.Written by
James Hastie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When Patricia Arquette arrives at the railroad station, a train is standing on the track nearest the platform. When she runs to get on the train, it is just pulling in to the station. See more »
The trip was Andy's idea. It was easier to say yes than argue. Always that way with my sister. She meant well. Touch of the exotic east would get me away from all the things that reminded me of what happened. But it didn't. Where ever I looked, I saw only the moment when my life ended.
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This is one of the most underrated movies of the 1990s. If you allow yourself to identify with the Patricia Arquette character, you will find it to be a very moving story of a woman regaining a sense of purpose to her life, and finding a new will to live.
Arquette's performance is brave because it is purposefully "wooden" -- it's a way of defining her character's spiritual death, her complete lack of a desire to be alive. She moves through life like a zombie because her family has been murdered and she can't see the point of living. What is moving is how in the course of the story, she is reawakened -- by the Burmese landscape, by the beautiful quality of its people and landscapes, and by the primal choices she is forced to confront.
Boorman supports this visually (and Hans Zimmer supports it with one of his most gorgeous, haunting scores) with an often static camera and with a propensity to shoot through glass, windows, windshields, etc. We are on the outside looking in, just like Arquette.... until she finds herself deep in the jungle and is forced to choose whether or not to fight for her life.
I recommend the 1954 movie THE PURPLE PLAIN as well. It's a similar story in a similar setting, and makes for a fascinating comparison.
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