Ali and Nino (2016) Poster

(2016)

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7/10
Worth watching, but a lackluster adaptation of a book you MUST read
baxterlawfirm24 May 2017
First off, the Novel "Ali and Nino" by Kurban Said is the seminal piece of modern literature for the country of Azerbaijan. It is absolutely worth reading for anyone who enjoys literature of any kind. The English translation is short, accessible, and infinitely interesting. It is a love story, a clash of cultures, and a political-historical account of how Azerbaijan was the first liberal democracy in the Muslim world ... for less than two years before the Russians decided to conquer it again.

Of course, this movie was made and financed by the current authoritarian president of Azerbaijan's family, and is put together like a PR product to western nations. It's a bit like if Ivanka Trump decided to produce an adaptation of "The Grapes of Wrath" for foreign audiences. It would certainly be technically well-done, but noticeably lacking much of the substance of the source material, perhaps even missing the point of the story entirely.

The book is full of humor and nuance in the interactions of the characters. It portrays a uniquely multi-cultural society where people from the same country, living literally under the same roof think so differently about things it is like they come from opposite sides of the Earth. The movie only briefly touches on a few of these moments, and kind of lacks context and buildup when it does.

What the movie gets absolutely right, and the whole reason to bother watching the movie, is the visuals. The cinematography really captures the feel of the place, it will make you homesick if you are from there, and make you want to see it for yourself if you have never been there.

So in sum, the visual depiction of the story's setting is an 11/10, A+, outstanding result. The adaptation of the substantive bits of the story leaves A LOT to be desired. The acting is fine, and may even be great if the screenplay gave the characters more or the development and "moments" from the novel.
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10/10
A small story with big heart.
zaurjamilov8 November 2016
Strong story, beautiful directing, talented team of actors. This is a very solid historical drama which will appeal not only to patriotic Azerbaijanis but to all genre lovers.

Historical Baku was really well recreated. The shots of historical part of Baku and Caucasus mountains are gorgeous- this paired with splendid costumes make "Ali and Nino" visually a very beautiful movie. Asif Kapadia is an Oscar winning director and you can easily feel it in the movie as directing quality certainly above the average.

The cast is very multinational: Palestinian Arab Adam Bakri seems believable as a son of Azerbaijani khan. Spanish Maria Valverde is charming as Nino and easily evokes from viewers sympathy.

The culture of the East was well shown in the movie, revolution and fight for independence scenes, despite of low budget, are well executed- impressive and tragic as they should be. The last scene on the bridge is wonderful and definitely will burst a lot of people to tears.

My only concern is that movie is really short- only 1.5 hours. Way too little to show such a complicated time period of Azerbaijani history (overthrowal of monarchy and fight for democratic independent republic). You just cannot help but wish for story to slow down and take its time to show more details, maybe add more characters and make it much more than just Ali and Nino story.

But that little what was shown was great as well. Hopefully BBC will watch this movie one day and extend it to miniseries because story still has so much in it and it is definitely too good to be told in such fast and general manner.

It potentially could be a second "Gone with the Winds". But it wasn't due to short length and somewhat shallow portrayal of Eastern culture and historical background. But it is a very strong historical drama movie anyways. Beautifully shot and most importantly- it has a heart. It will bring you smile, test your nerves, brig tears- and sometimes all at once in one scene.

If you are familiar with Azerbaijan only via Eurovision and recent European Olympic games, I definitely recommend to watch this movie. It is a great opportunity to get familiar with early stages of Azerbaijani Democratic Republic formation and to grasp heart and soul of the nation.

10 out 10
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10/10
Touching Movie!
abdullayevelchin13 December 2017
The touching love story with magnificent description of diversity of culture and different religions. Special thanks to the cast for creating such a multicultural unity! Elchin Abd
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6/10
A very simple movie with a guide to history the world didn't knew.
nab-shr22 July 2017
A very beautiful movie and an excellent one. cinematography is excellent with beautiful scenes of Azerbaijan. I didn't knew Azerbaijan had mountains and snow till I saw this movie. The movie is set in pre- 1st world war time and after seeing this movie one knows that there is a country named Azerbaijan. The story is a love story set in war period. Its pace is very slow and needless to say as is not a Hollywood movie the sets are fine. The love story of cross culture was very usual in the 1960 and 70s. Most of the scenes of action are in the dialogue form as clear with the case of budget. But considering a movie from Azerbaijan, I think it is a feat itself. A good movie.
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8/10
Well-Done Historic Period Film
drtodds11 February 2018
"Ali & Nino" ( 2016) I am not usually a fan of Historic Period pieces....but I ADORE Adam Bakri so I thought I would give it a chance. And I am glad I did. What I found was a beautiful love story wrapped in a veil of tragedy. The tale is set from 1914-1920 as World War I is fought.....Azerbaijan claims its independence from Russia....becoming the first democratic state in the Muslim world. The celebrations are short lived as the oil-rich country quickly finds itself having to fight to maintain said independence. At the center are Ali (son of a powerful Muslim man in the capital city of Baku) and Nino (a Christian Georgian princess) who fall hopelessly in love. The film chronicles the struggles, obstacles and enemies of their love and their tenacious fight to stay united.
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9/10
Time wasted? YOU wasted time!!
claudionipotti6 May 2017
I just readed the first review, titled "Time wasted".

This film is about history. History of Azerbaijan. The movie reflects the culture of that region in the years of the World War I.

What did you expected? Time travel? Laser sabers? Cyborgs?

Please, go to school. History is not the same that a story.
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5/10
Failed adaption of book to movie
nigarm913 August 2017
If you read the book you will see that there were so much better scenes to adapt to the movie. Some scenes were nonsense. Some scenes weren't good enough. Auditioning - failed. Actings weren't satisfying for me: Nino is escaping country because of invasion and she is all happy and smiling at the train. I didn't like her acting at all. Great historical mistakes, wrong costumes etc. Overall maybe a good film for someone who hasn't read the book or doesn't know the culture and history. As I know the history and read the book, I can say that it is a failure of adaptation.
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10/10
Excellent
orxanbayramov-290055 April 2017
Warning: Spoilers
The novel has been published in more than 30 languages, with more than 100 editions or reprints. The book was first published in Vienna in German in 1937, by E.P. Tal Verlag. It is widely regarded as a literary masterpiece and since its rediscovery and global circulation, which began in 1970, it is commonly considered the national novel of Azerbaijan. I have read the novel. Best Azerbaijan romance I have ever read. Movie is also beautiful. As beautiful as novel. Watch it!
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10/10
Excellent romantic film
scherfcom25 March 2017
Warning: Spoilers
In "Ali and Nino" we get a rare glimpse into an era at the onset of the formation of the Soviet Union. The movie is shot on location in Azerbaijan and has wonderful cinematography. Also the interaction between two religions, Islam and Christianity, is carefully portrayed and interesting to observe for that time period and location.

Acting is well done with believable characters. I was also glad that the film is in English. The TV-MA rating is probably because due to some violent war scenes and one engaging romantic scene, but overall should be PG-13 / TV-14. We really enjoyed watching it and although there's lots of sadness in this film, this movie is different mostly due to the setting/location and the era and it makes it an interesting flick with excellent cinematic execution.
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10/10
Excellent movie, loved it !
aallakhverdiev11 May 2017
Excellent movie, loved it ! The story brings you back to 1919. Love always win! Watched the movie with my family. We were impressed with case and the way they played the roles. I can recommend it to my friends. Check your local theater or watch it online. P.S. music in the movie is outstanding. Will try to downloaded it now. Thank you
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10/10
Lovely movie
mpspecialinfo8 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Lovely History, really enjoyng that i recommend to every one watch this movei
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8/10
Brilliant
abuturab-4600717 December 2017
The movies leaves a deep impact on your heart. Wishing it may never end. Asif Kapadia continues his trait. One of those memorable tragedy movies you cant miss. Reminder of the forgotten history. Such movies are rare. A piece of art.
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