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A heartfelt dissection of meanings of life in a familial context
I like it when the movie title itself is capable of concisely threading together the themes of the movie and yet retains a unique symbolic connotation. "35 shots of rum" is a good example. The audience were left with a question mark as to what the "35 shots of rum theory" meant to the father early on in the movie, and when leaving the cinema were probably rewarded with a sonorous answer which neatly highlights and summarises the point of the movie.
In a working class Parisian family which is disintegrated by the loss of an important member, what bonds the remaining members together and keep them going? What prevents them from lying flat on the rail and let trains run all over them and wrap them up as some may choose to? "35 shots of rum" provides us with a sincere, heartfelt and highly humanised conjecture through unraveling an intimate web of relationships within the family and the neighbourhood, and reveals to the audience what meanings of life are to the characters. The story-telling is commendable and loyal to its central film throughout, making the film a structurally condensed and coherent piece of study of humanity.
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