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Amin, an aspiring screenwriter and photographer, returns to his hometown, a fishing village in the south of France, after living a year in Paris. He spends his time hopping from beach to beach and from bar to bar, finding his childhood friends and chasing new encounters. The summer lights of the Mediterranean coast guide his quest for love, as he hopes to live a passionate romance like in the movies. Surrounded by his loving family, who sometimes helps and often hinders, Amin searches to find his own way. Inspiration comes in the form of many female characters who enchant him, but when it comes to love only the mektoub ("destiny" in Arabic) can decide. This coming-of-age saga set in 1994 casts a nostalgic glow on losing the innocence of youth.
'Mektoub my love Canto Uno' has devided professional critics.
It is easy to denounce its lack of former plot line, length (3hrs) and voyeurism. Although these accusations are valid, who let himself completely immerse into it will feel undoubtedly rewarded.
It is not a boring film and quite captivating actually. I was even craving for more..
The action takes place in Sète, a southern France resort town on the Mediterranean. Amin, a shy student of Tunisian background who came back to his home town for summer, hangs out with friends and girls on holidays. Bodies and characters faces are shot with the delightful summer light which gives an extra touch of sensuality to the whole story.
The film shows like no other movie before it what it really feels to be young, beautiful and on holidays. The camera is so close from the group that the viewer feels actually part of the band.
It can work as a time machine (for the ones who have enjoyed similar experiences) or better as a machine that sucks you into the present, a call that is so powerful that one can hardly get out of it unharmed.
Kechiche's tour de force is to create a fiction that feels so real it could be a documentary on sociability, family, seduction and love at 20 something.
For the viewer who has let go and enjoyed this piece of cinema at his true value it is hard not to regard 'Mektoub my love' as an original, authentic, peculiar masterpiece.
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