Mektoub, My Love: Canto Uno (2017) Poster

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Kechiche best film so far: Sea, sex and sun.
fschmiliver15 October 2018
'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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Needlessly eroticized coming-of-age story
canozer12313 August 2018
This is a film that's hard to review; it is technically well done, but once in a while you wonder why you are watching what you're watching.

The film offers many ingredients of a good coming-of-age story: realistic characters, realistic character developments, realistic scenarios, realistic dialogues. Its perspective is not moralistic; It neither blames nor encourages any of its characters' different approaches to sex and life.

The problem, however, is that if you cut one hour of the movie out, it wouldn't lose any significance. Indeed, a lot of the film is plain gazing at the plump bodies of women, but the thing is that the gazed body parts do not add anything to the film. One could argue that the long sex scene in La Vie d'Adele gave the viewer an opportunity to get acquainted with the characters since the way a person has sex also tells a lot about them. The same argument sadly cannot be given in this film. Hence, you have a three hour long movie instead of two. Nonetheless, the longevity of the film does not mean that the film is stretched out. Three hours pass by in a relatively quick fashion (especially if you like women).

I just hope women and the animals in the movie did not have to endure shootings that they didn't particularly enjoy, considering Léa Seydoux's and Adele Exarchopoulos's harsh comments on the director at the time.
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Too loud, too bright - and *definitely* too long
euroGary19 February 2019
Amin quits his Paris medical school and returns to his seaside home town, intent on pursuing his twin interests of photography and writing sci-fi scrips. He quickly discovers that his womanising brother Tony (Salim Kechiouche, more famous to British audiences for such gay-friendly fare as 'Grande École' and 'Le Clan') is having an affair with his pultridudinous childhood friend Ophélie. Amin and Tony visit the beach, where they meet two tourists, Charlotte and Céline. Charlotte quickly falls for Tony's swarthy charms, and Céline initially seems interested in Amin - before showing equal interest in his humorous friend Joe and, indeed, in Ophélie.

On paper, this soapy storyline looks as if it could be dealt with relatively quickly. Director/co-writer Abdellatif Kechiche, however, spins it out to a squirm-inducing 181 minutes. He does this mainly by lengthening scenes way beyond their ability to hold the viewer's attention: for example, a nightclub sequence which adds nothing to the development of either plot or character lasts, by my reckoning, at least quarter of an hour but could have finished in half that time; and to establish that Ophélie works on a goat farm all that was needed was for her to say "I've got to get to the goat farm"; instead we're treated to five minutes of her herding the creatures into a barn.

Kechiche frequently has his actors talking over one another, which may be an accurate mirror of real-life conversation, but makes it difficult for the viewer to keep track of who is saying what, particularly when reading sub-titles. He also often places his actors in front of the sun, casting them into shadow and searing the eyeballs of his audience.

This film is sub-titled 'Canto Uno', which suggests one or more sequels. Even though the characters are largely likeable, and there is comfort in the predictability of the story, unless those sequels benefit from much tighter editing than did this, I won't be going anywhere near them.
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A fake director using fake codes to make a fake movie
nilcaron1 March 2019
This is ridiculously bad, he tries to give his self a style when he doesnt have any, he is the definition of a wannabe.

The vulgar way of filming, the emptyness of the subject, the boring characters and actors and his way of trying to be special and arty is just making me want to scream out about his poorness, thinking how can people fall into such an obvious trap, do peoplejust follow the « fashion » like sheeps, dont they have the capacity of telling this movie is empty?

He is trying to capture instants of life, as Jim Jarmusch for example can do in a brillant and very intelligent way, but here it is simply EMPTY completely boring, nothing interesting nothing that sounds real or fun, simply emptyness.

I could only think to myself during the whole movie, did he really chose this job to only be able to hangout with sexy girls and get to know them, the only motivation he has by being a « director » is to have power over those girls. That is the only thing i come out with after 3hours of deep boringness, how can he find producers after this seriously i dont know, people might be forgetting what cinema is about.

Avoid anything that has to deal with this director, he is an imposter.
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East meets West in common places
sorin-hadarca-140-29825826 September 2018
Basically, lots of flesh. Scandalous, considering the action takes places in a muslim country, but the waves of visiting tourists makes flirt & nudity an everyday business. Amin's gaze is of an non-judgmental observer, reluctunt to engage. Love has little to do with the place, except for the lambs maybe - a cliche for innocence. Op-ending, the movie (hardly a story) lacks a morale; sometimes life is such.
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