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Call me Matthew

This is really a True Story
The movie starts with a TAG - This is a True Story

But after seeing the movie - I laughed at myself and said that - Ah, what a fast one the Director has pulled on the audience by pinching the Tagline - This is a True Story and making us believe in whatever is shown

After two days I simply googled about the case to find out whether such a case was there at all and to my surprise - there was incidentally a real life case.

Now I smile at myself again and get amused by the fact - that I was so wrong in thinking the Director Remy Cayueta has pulled a fast one on his audiences.

The story is about Jean Pierre who has an accident. He wakes up from his long coma and identifies himself as USA Hollywood star Matthew McConaughey. The Doctors are sensitive and want to get along with his new identity and thus requests his family and friends to accept his new identity till he comes back to his real sense of realizing his own self.

The Director Remy has weaved many small incidents in the phase of recovery in a light comedy tone that makes us smile and smirk.

The whole movie is so unbelievable that at the end of it - we scratch our heads doubting its authenticity until we realize that in real life there was this man named Rory Curtis - whose real life story is the same as Jean Pierre.

The movie was okay, but much more can be done beyond the 13 minutes run time. The person who plays the main role is Jonathan Lambert has done a good job in his comedy timing.

At the end of the movie the last-titles says that the patient recovered and was able to identify himself after 6 months of therapy sessions I would go with 5.5 out of 10.

Les temps qui changent

Time changes, Life changes, but True LOVE lasts Forever
I saw this 2004 French movie.

The story is about a man Antoine (Gérard Depardieu) a successful civil engineer who manages to get posted to Tangiers (Morocco) to seek his 30 years back lost love Cecile (Catherine Deneuve) - who is running a French-Arabic radio programme. She is married twice - first marriage ended in divorce and a kid. Her second marriage is with a younger Morroccon physician Nathan (Gilbert MIlke) who has many mistresses. While Antoine is still unmarried waiting to win back Cecile's heart and love live a life together. He hires a lady Nabila (Nabila Baraka) to send anonymous flower bouquets to Cecile who is not interested in any love interest and thus throws flowers in the dust-bin. Nabila wants Antonie to get over his 30 year old LOVE-spell through witch-craft. Finally when Antonie meets Cecile, she is not interested at all. Cecile's friend Rachel (Tanya Lopert) pursues Cecile to have a brief fling rather than a committed life-long relationship with Antonie, thus she goes to Antonie's hotel room and makes love to him. Later, Antonie suffers a land-slide accident and goes in coma. Cecile and Nathan separate and when Antonie opens his eyes from coma, he finds Cecile holding his hand. The movie ends there.

There are a few sub-plots - 1) The first one of Cecile's son Sami (Malik Zidi) who has a live-in relationship with a single mother Nadia (Lubna Azabal) who has a son Said (Idir Elomri) who come and visit Cecile-Nathan's house. 2) The second sub-plot is Sami is also a homosexual with his boyfriend Bilal (Nadeem Rachati) 3) The third sub-plot is about Nadia and her twin sister Aicha (played again by Lubna Lubna Azabal) 4) The fourth sub-plot is that when Nadia is living in Cecile-Nathan's house, Nathan gets attracted towards Nadia. 5) The fifth sub-plot is after Nathan separates from Cecile he pursues to have an affair with Aicha - the look alike sister of Nadia.

But above all - the main plot is feel-good evergreen LOVE-story. Against the back-drop of various characters this ETERNAL, True, Pure AGAPE LOVE of a man for a woman of his dreamz is perfectly set. This is the dialogue said by Antoine to Cecile when they meet "The more I have tried to forget you - the more I am in LOVE with YOUz"

The Director - Andre Techine does a marvelous job in weaving several sub-plots together show-casing the flimsy lives of modern humans, who are so frivilous and jump from one relationship to another. Amidst all that - he makes Antoine stand TALL and STRONG - with blinded LOVE for Cecile.

Both Gerard and Catherine who play the main protagonist - have acted and done a marvelous job in enacting the feelings of love and lost-love honestly on screen. Both characters are absolutely "make-believe" ones.

The movie was critically and commercially successful and has won a few international awards and nominations - mainly for best picture and screenplay at Berlin and Cesar thus a lot of credit als has to go to the writers - Andre Techine, Laurent Guyot, and Pascal Bonitzer. .

A special mention to the song Moroccon Tumba sung by Angelique Kidja which is beautifully haunting and re-enacts the story of this movie through melodious lyrics.

One needs to have a bit of patience to sit, see and understand the life-styles of several sub-plot to various characters to fully appreciate the meaning of TRUE pure AGAPE LOVE.

I would go with 7 out of 10 for this movie.

Prêtes à tout

Ready for Anything
This TV movie story is about a contemporary issue of drug abuse among kids and youth in schools.

Aline (Anne Charrier) is a rich lady who is also a teacher in her 15 year old son's Romain (Jules Houplan) school. Nadia (Alika Del Sol) is a single working-class mother in a poor locality and her 14 year old son Samir (Abderahmane Cherif) studies in the same school with Romain. Both kids get involved as drug suppliers to a night out birthday party of a classmate Julliette (Lea Leviant). Aline and Nadia come from diverse societies, ideologies, life-styles and sensibilities.

When their kids are arrested - police interview their mothers who find a common ground to save their sons from the grip of drug racket. That forms the core of the story with repeated flashbacks and incidents.

The story written by Lorène Delannoy (and 2 other writers Laure De Colbert and Pierre Tonachella) is very well researched and extremely tight, sensitive and grappling into various aspects of young minds and mother's angst and worries regarding the safety and security of their children.

Director Thierry Petit has done a marvelous job in being honest to the script and writings - putting forward an issue that is so relevant and burning all over the world.Presenting perspectives and impact by being witness to two mother's lives with empathy is well captured.

Anne Carrier (already awarded best actress) and Alika Del Sol have given award winning performances for their respective roles. The two young boys Jules and Abderehmani have done a commendable acting of restless vulnerabilities of youngsters.

The music, background score and editing are very good. The story manages to gain pace with each new event and scene gripping till the movie reaches an unusual climax.

Overall it is a very well made movie in all departments of film-making bringing out burning issues of drug abuse in schools by kids and how parents deal with it by being ready to do anything to protect their children from this drug menace..

Worth nothing is - upon release this movie already generated a lot of media/ TV debate on this topical issue.

I would go with 7.75 out of 10 for this good movie.

Cet autre hiver

This is a short film.

A story of Nina (Adele Exarchopoulus) who desperately wants to meet her mother Lily (Lola Deurnas) whom she has not met or seen from last 20 years. Nina lands up in a small town in the cold winter and seeks for Lila who is a piano player in a small bar. Un-announced Nina goes to meet Lili in the changing room. On introduction - the reaction of Lili as mother is bewilderment and sadness. Nina leaves her number with Lili and returns to her hotel room waiting for her mother to call her. Lili does not call and very late night Nina goes back to the club again - but Lili has already left the club. Next day morning Lili comes to meet Nina at the hotel but walks away without meeting her. Lili follows Nina in the car and picks her up - where Nina knows that Lili might be pregnant. In burst of overwhelming emotions - Nina walks away. But they meet again - when Nina takes Lili to a church and probably goes for a confession when Lili ponders and walks away.

There is a small sub-plot in between- In the hotel Nina meets a old man who has come to celebrate his meeting with his wife in the same hotel where they fell in LOVE twenty years back and both souls are seeking solace and resolution of sorts of their feelings.

Though the two main lead protagonist are mother-daughter yet they are strangers and trying to connect with each other after 20 years. There is a feminine -humane bond evidently visible between the two.

Writer-Director Margo Brière Bordier has done a superb job in keeping a tight script yet portraying heart-wrenching emotions from the characters that are so real.

Both Adele and Lola have performed their role to perfection capturing the nuance of their characters aptly. Both are veteran and versatile in their career and the depth of their emotions takes audience's empathy.

The cinematography of a small sea-side frozen town in dark and gray tones is captured so beautifully.

This is a second short of Director Margo - and I will give full marks to her to assemble such a super-cast and present a whole lot of emotionally drenching drama in 15 minutes of run time

I would go with 7 out of 10 for this well made emotional drama


No Age BAR to LOVE
The first shot of the short film starts with a eighty year old lady Mademoiselle Myrian (Michelle Moretti) telling her grown up son - that she wants to marry a friend of her late husband who used to flirt with her. In dis-belief the son Phillip (Marc Pierret) calls his brother to give the news. No one is her family is able to believe Myrian, and all of them including her young grand daughter try to pursue her not to do such a thing. But Myrian wants to feel LOVE and without caring for anyone goes for the alliance she hardly knows because they met only occasionally. The last scene of the movie Myrian is shown with her would be husband - a chair bond paraplegic octogenarian Roland (Gilles Bataile) whose wheel chair she pushes in a garden full of trees and flowers.

Such is LOVEz. the movie captures the charisma of BEING IN LOVE - age does not matter. The debut movie - Written and directed by Simon Grass - is endearing honest.

Veteran actress Michelle Moretti beautifully portrays the emotions of LOVE and brutality of being honest with everyone around her - that she wants to feel LOVE and marry a man whom she does not know but used to flirt with her.

The movie opens up the audience's mind to be OPEN to LOVE - does not matter your age because LOVE is the only and such a strong emotions that keep humans really enjoy life.

I liked the liberal concept of LOVE presented in the movie I would go with 6.5 out of 10 for this short.

Yellow Rose

I Ain't Going Down
The story is about a undocumented migrants from Philippines Mother Priscilla (Princess Punzalan) and 18 year old daughter Rose (Eva Noblezada) living in Texas USA. Mother works as a cleaner in a hotel, while Rose while studying and aspires to be a musician. Tragedy strikes when Immigration officers arrest Pricilla and Rose survives in the USA with the help of her friend Elloit (Liam Booth) and a local musician Dale (The real Date Watson) while mother is deported back to Manila.

Eva Noblezada (of Miss Saigon -25 anniversary Opera fame) as Rose carries the film on her tiny shoulder with versatile acting skills and musical skills. She is aptly supported by all the others in the cast. Dale Watson (composer and actor) has played his own self in both the earlier short and this movie and he is the one who becomes a catalyst and instrumental in bringing the hidden musical talents of Rose out on the stage in public.

The story is fresh, and the treatment is light. There are many hummable numbers (17) in the movie and some of them are good. In 2017 Directress Daine Paragas had made a short movie (15 minutes) with the same name and similar story. That must have given the seed to this full-feature film.

The background music and the locales are Austin, Texas are very good. It is a feel good story that every aspiring growing girl will relate to.

I would go with 6.5 out of 10 for this movie.

La meilleure manière de...

The Best Way...
I saw this short French language Belgium movie which goes into the realm of online groups who do not know each other but are connected through a chat website Suicidaire.be. They all are depressed, desperate, lonely and want to end life without pain.

The main protagonist is Florence (Muriel bersy), who is shown as a lonely soul even in a crowded room of family, friends and relatives. She lives alone in an apartment and listens to songs of LOVE. She is angry by the neighbors noise peering through the walls that disturbs her life.

When online she chats with like-minded people and discusses ways to commit suicide without pain. Searches and gets books on commiting suicide in simple steps. Meets people who can help her to die and in such an incident, meets a person who wants to kill her in a swimming pool. Obviously Florence is scared and runs away. At home with her family - her parents, she lies having a nice peaceful life.

When she arranges a personal meeting with another online group chat member at a cafe, she reaches there to surprisingly realize that the person is no other than her own father, who seemed and looks so normal, having a family - wife and daughter - but is a member of an online group who wants to commit sucide without pain (The Best Way)

Florence and her father hold each other's hand and she says - "Now who cares?" This can mean two things - either they will be giving support to each other in resolving their loneliness - or they will be committing suicide together. The movie ends there.

This short film is written and directed by Ingrid Heiderscheidt who has also played a small cameo role in the movie.

The good thing about the movie is that along with presenting the state of lonely people and their online life through chat, Ingrid has managed to keep the tone of the movie frothy and light - hearted with a few chuckles sprinkled here and there.

All the characters have acted well and within their respective role-charts. The ambience and feel is so European and such state of life believable/ It has already found mention in a few International award circuits.

I would go with 6 out of 10 for this short. It is a good one time watch.


Will YOU permit yourself to LOVE?
I saw this beautifully nuanced film where two people - Ashwin (Vivek Gomber) a NRI in high class south Mumbai apartment falling in LOVE with his widow maid Ratna (Tilotame Shome) from a small Maharastrian village - two pure hearts fall in LOVE despite their status, class-divide, social-strata and different backgrounds.

It may cross the area of #METOO and exploitative narrative of one in POWER and the other is a position of working under a person who pays salary.

I won't talk about the exact narrative but leave you with the emotions it leaves behind on me - as an audience.

Can LOVEz really happen in such scenarios? Can it be depicted in a typical cliched fashion?

How much one is ready to go? One can just stop at capturing LOVE in a poem, a story, a documentary or a movie.

Does a person have real guts, courage and is brave to stand up and say it aloud "I LOVE YOU" in acceptance - without caring about societal consequences and backlash of what is permissible and what is not?

To what length a person is ready to face life and its humiliations and sacrifices to believe in LOVE and just go ahead - breaking all the barriers culture, tradition, caste, class, religion, education has imposed.

There is subtleness in the way a growing relationship is beautifully portrayed in this movie and the embracing of emotions of LOVE.

Will one permit oneself to LOVE? Will one open up to LOVE? Why? Because LOVE is a great equalizer...!

The movie was easy in its storytelling by juxtaposing a Male in a position of power and a woman as someone working under him. For me the movie would have been much more stark if the roles were reversed..

Because "man" as a decider about relationships can have courage and take the relationship forward... What about a woman from a high class society falling in LOVE with a servant who comes to sweep, swab and clean toilets?

Would that not be a real-game-changer for society to accept as "normal"?

Anyways not to take away anything from the three - the Director Rohena Gera, the actress Tilotama Shome and actor Vivek Gomber to stay in tune with the fine portrayal of a magical LOVE story without being preachy or political.

One (both woman and man) needs to watch this movie again to really put oneself in the shoes of both the characters and question oneself - To what extent one will go in LOVE?

The movie is already having raving reviews and awards galore. I am sure it will remain as a landmark movie in the likes of "Arth" which is so well loved and remembered even after so many years.

I would go with 8 out of 10 for this.


Mama Lova

Mother's Fighting Spirit
This movie is about a mother Adele (Mata Gabin) whose son has recently died due to a drug gang violence in the neighborhood. She does not want young boys to buy or sell drugs in her area and in stopping that is assaulted by a young lad Tarick (Daniel Joseph). Not knowing what to do - she joins a boxing class to protect herself from future assault. Tarick finds it difficult to run his operations in that area and threatens Adele's daughter of causing harm to her younger brother. When Adele comes to know this she goes and confronts Tarick and in a well directed boxing street fist fight knocks Tarick down.

The movie is of 17 minutes and is Directed by Jean François Taver - who started his journey as an additional crew in 2012 in various departments and learned the ropes of film making. In 2015 - he directed his first short. In a span of 5 years - he has already directed 4 short films. Amazing.

Mata Gabin is casted perfectly as Adele and so is Tarick - played so well by Daniel Joseph. He looks real menacing in that role.

Though the idea seemed just a little bit stretched of a regular Mother knocking down a local drug-gang boy in a boxing street fight, yet it does evoke enough emotional punch to overlook that minor aspect. I would like to specially mention that fight scene which is pictured very well and looks so real.

The short movie has potential to be made in a full fledged 90 minute movie too.

I would go with 6.5 out of 10

À perdre la raison

Our Children ... Out of Reason
What happens when a boy and girl meet from different cultures?

The excitement, the thrill, the joy of falling in LOVEz and spending life together. The dreamZ - the future plans etc.

Years go by - the babies are born, the work and life eats up the relationship The evil of time - deteriorates and suffocates everything we stood for.

This movie is about two lovers - Mounir (Tahir Rahim) a Morrocan immigrant living in Belgium and a Belgian girl Murielie (Emilie Dequence) falling in LOVEz and supported by the God-father of Mounir - Dr. Andre (Niels Arestrup) from being a catalyst in forming their LOVE-bond to blessing the couple to being with them in their honeymoon, to giving them shelter, money, food and even supporting their children.

Then what could go wrong? Murielie wanted freedom as a couple to live alone - and enjoy life, away from Dr.Andre - who uses kindness as blackmail and trap the young couple. Murielie feels suffocated and whenever she discusses with Mounir he always takes sides of Dr.Andre. Thus slowly and slowly Murielie feels isolated, disintegrated, and depressed becomes a routine housewives, bearing four beautiful children - caged and imprisoned within the burden of goodness and kindness shown by Dr.Andre.

What results in the end is so horrific and chilling that one goes aghast at the outcome.

It leaves the viewers devastated to say the least - viewing a claustrophobic tragedy destined to happen.

This superb movie is based on a true story.

It is a GREAT psychological drama of how slowly un-noticed the depression sets in through "subtle" everyday interaction of routine life and daily household chores. How a person feels isolated, neglected in a relationship, and above all how PATRIARCHY destroys completely a spirited young woman with dreams

The Director Joachim Lafosse has dealt with this very important subject with apt without taking sides and/ or blaming anyone, and left many questions unanswered.

Though in real life - when this incident happened - the society surely wanted a villain and thus was punished in the verdict.

The movie rests solely on the shoulders of Émilie Dequenne - who portrays Murielie so tenderly, graphically - showcasing her angst and silent sufferings with looks and stares. She literally makes an emphatical audience jump off their seat to extend a hand of help and hug her, give her support. It made me an instant life-long fan of Emilie Dequenne.

The remaining cast of Mounir and Dr.Andre too have played their part brilliantly. The director Joachim has extracted marvelous acting from little children.

At points it becomes unbearable to watch the movie and wants us to cry to intervene and turn the clock back.

But the real incident is history and can't be changed. GREAT work of cinema that I will surely remember for years

I would go with 7.75 out of 10 for this journey of joy to tragic despair.

Angèle à la casse

Girl in the Scrapyard
After her father's death Angele (Pauline Parigot) inherits her father's scrapyard. She comes back from her college to be there because there is no one else to run it. There is a migrant Farid (Mourad Boudaoud) who used to work with her father and continues to work there helping Angele. And there is also a pet dog.

Angele in her depression of losing her father - remembers him with little things of her father that are still around in the scrapyard office - where she sits. She roams alone in the scrapyard/ junkyard aimlessly without a purpose.

One morning a middle-aged-man named Charles (Antoinee Chappey) comes in search of a red Opel Corsa car that might be somewhere in the junk/scrapyard. Angele helps him out to find that car and knows from him that he lost his daughter in an accident in that vehicle.

That night due to barking of the dog, Angele wakes up and finds Charles sleeping in that Red Opel Corsa car. Angele gives Charles a shoulder to lean and cry on and later invites him for a cup of morning coffee in the office.

Both are remorseful and sorry for their state and losses. They find an uncanny silent bond with each other. Charles collects the cassette from the car music player that his daughter was listening to while she was driving when the accident happened. Through Angele - Charles tries to find out today's youth's interests in life - thus a hopeless attempt to connect with his daughter.

Angele misses her father and is not able to bear the pain of this stranger's longing for his daughter who has died.

To hide her tears - she walks away from the office. The movie is sombre, sad, dark and sorrowful.

Directors Matthieu Chatellier, Daniela de Felice have created a beautiful short - through their insightful writing, direction and cinematography.

The movie pitches the right notes of LOVE longings.

All the actors have played their roles well and the scrapyard acts as a full-fledged back-ground character in the movie to create that dark/gray eerie sad feel to the scenes.

I would go with 7 out of 10 for this well made little gem that brings a lump in the throat by the end of it.

Vivre sans eux

Vivre Sans Eux

I saw this French drama VIVRE SANS EUX inspired from a True Story

A remorse father Martin (Bernand Le Coq) comes to meet his gay son at a mansion where he meets the new occupant Oliver (Gregory Montel). Martin becomes suspicious and spies on Oliver, leading him to meet Adele (Esther Garrel) who has come to meet her gay father - partner of Martin's son. Both start on an odd note but develop an endearing bond for the same purpose of finding their LOVED ones.

One thing leads to another, to reveal the suspense.

The script is very well written by Jean Luc Estebe with unusual plot twists and turns incorporated with relevant flashback stories of Martin and Adele.

Director Jacques Millot maintains a realistic look -unfolding complex human interactions and developing relationships between different characters while maintaining a countryside feel to the narrative.

The casting too is apt - Bernand as a remorseful father and Adele as a strong-willed, opinionated straight-talk daughter portray their characters with much ease. Gregory Montel's character is unlike what he has portrayed till date in his previous movies and he too does gritting justice to his role.

The good thing of the movie is that it does not fall into a typical cliche' sequence of events that we see in a psychological mystery-suspense thriller.

The movie had a good run in various European country telecast,

I would go with 6.75 out of 10 for this Italian production

Ulysse & Mona

Had potential
This movie is about a young art student Mona (Manal Issa) - who has a boyfriend Camilie (Quentin Dolimaire) - but wants to meet a retired and forgotten - secluded famous art teacher Ulysses (Eric Cantona) who stays in a remote mansion in a deep jungle - living alone, playing tennis with a machine-ball thrower.

Mona goes to meet Ulysses - who immediately rejects her, but Mona persists and they form a unique bond between a mentor Ulusses and a student Mona. Mona looks up to Ulysses and adores him - even gets physically attracted to him. Her LOVE defines Ulysses to reclaim his relationships with his ex-wife and his young son who works as a waiter in a pizza joint.

When Mona is back and reflects on a video of Ulysses - she realizes the journey life takes and she realizes a new maturity within her through a LOVE friendship interactions and knowing Ulysses

The concept of the movie is good - but the execution does not feel complete. Director Sébastien Betbeder who also has screenplayed the movie has tried to present a unique story of pure LOVE relationship but does not succeed fully. Quentin Dolimaire as Ulysses has acted in a limited frame with an equivocal emotional state of cold expression, while Manal Issa fills up freshness and vulnerability in the narrative. But the chemistry between the two leads is not crackling in nature.

There are a few sub-plots - one of Mona's love - her friend and other of Ulysses' neighbor friend, his son , a small boy visiting him occasionally - and an altercation with an unemployed man who comes to rob a department store.

There was potential in the concept of light hearted love story, which was under-exploited. the happenings in the movie - never touches the heart deeply or even brings lasting smiles and endearing emotions.

I would go with 6 out of 10 for this French movie.

Temps de Chien!

Whatever life offers never give up on life
I saw this nice feel good drama comedy French movie Cats and Dogs - showing the struggles of a recently divorced (50+ something) City-tour boat Captain Jean (Philippe Rebbot) who has to take care of his three children. On top of that he is evicted for non-payment of rent and he loses his job, his three little children are unhappy, his wife is threatening and seeks custody of all the children. Once custody happens he does not have a place to stay, and ends up with another unemployed struggling young musician friend Victor (Pablo Pauly).

The good part is that amidst all these Jean is so endearing, honest, helpful, vulnerable, patient, joyful, innocent, good natured, loving father, respectful in all conduct - that one feels that come what may - he accepts life as it comes amidst life's struggles contrary to what one expects from life.

Director Edward Deluc keeps the movie's tone light and frothy and does not let the movie be heavy and burdensome. As viewers our heart goes out for Jean and with all his difficulties we want him to be happy.

And that what happens - with a feel good happy ending where everyone is in harmony and joy with each other.

There are several sub-plots surrounding Jean interwoven nicely along with the main story.- Jean's office / job strifes, his drunkenness problem, affairs, marriage counseling, dropping children late at school every day, and a developing love story with his colleague Judith (Laure Calamy) who just adores Jean's positive and good nature - and finally wins him over with her LOVE..

The other sub-plot being of the young musician friend's Victor's struggles, love story, employment and both plotting a robbery and getting caught by police (is so funny).

The lasting memory remains of the main protagonist veteran actor Philippe Rebbot - who plays his age and with "whatever-life-offers-never-give-up-on-life" attitude

All other characters have played their small roles extremely well - especially the small portions of children watching their father's problems and struggles is very heartfelt and touching.

It seems that Phillipper Rebbot's earlier movie (L'amour flou) that he wrote and directed with his wife - had a very similar character sketch - which is carried forward here.

I enjoyed this family drama light hearted comedy movie about daily struggles of life.

I would go with 7 out of 10.

Ma Dame au Camélia

Ma Dame Au Camelia
I saw this nice little short film Ma Dame Au Camelia (My Lady of hte Camellia)

Before you read the review of the short film, it is essential to know the interesting LOVEz story of Camellia.

This is a semi-autobiographical LOVE story written in nineteenth century (1852) by a wealthy 23 year old Alexandre Dumas about his love-affair with a couresian Marie Duplessis - who was considered, discreet, intelligent, well-read and witty. Their illicit relationship is opposed by Alex's father and Marie is sent away, where she dies of TB at 23 years of age. This novel has been adapted in different versions and made into more than 15 plays and 15 movies

With this back-ground coming back to this short film.

The casting director Selenna (Laurence Oltuski) and her assistant Betty (Ingrid Donnadieu) are auditioning young girls for the role of Camellia. Amidst all the girls who have come for auditioning one of them is Patricia (Edouard Montoute) - a middle aged transgender,.Patricia is kept waiting and not even called for an audition. Selenna outrightly rejects her for the role. Patricia persuades Selenna on the logic of modern interpretation of the story by casting a transgender as Camellia and thus hesistantly Betty records her audition, and secretly sent the footage to the Director of the movie. After Selennia shows the way out to Patricia for being unfit for the role - she receives a call from the Director who likes Patricia and wants to cast only her for the role.

This is a nice short light hearted movie - looking at modernity, prejudice, liberal values, human rights, interpretative literature style etc.

This movie is written, screenplayed, directed and acted by Edouard Montoute who plays Patricia in the movie. He is done a formidable job in his debut short - by not only conceptualizing an interesting premise but also being bold enough to act as transgender.

The other casts too have acted well.

The movie has been part of various film festivals and won a Special Jury mention award too.

I liked the movie - and it is 15 minute short - easy and light hearted to watch. Have a go...!

I would go with 6.5 out of 10 for this short.

Where Do Cats Go After 9 Lives?

One can have everything - but without true LOVE...!?
I saw a nice French short movie

où vont les chats après 9 vies (Where do cats go after 9 lives?)

The movie is about 14 year old girl Lily May (Tiffany Montambault) who is so bored with life, loneliness and everything around her (a sole cat is her pet). One day she decides to commit suicide. First she informs her extremely liberal parents - Mom (Salomé Corbo) and Dad (Paul Ahmarani) who are supportive of legalizing death through euthanasia.

Of course both are shocked with their daughter's decision - Dad outright opposes it and Mom - tied to her liberal stance - comically agrees fanning her EGO on the decision of Lily-May.

Lily-May also informs her school-mates and friends about her decision. When Lily-May goes to meet the doctor (Manuel Tadros) at the suicide clinic - he subjects her to various physical and psychological tests to assess the reasons and motivation for a girl such young to die. He also explains to her about the self-taking of required dosage that Lily should swallow when the date-time is fixed.

Lily-May's boyfriend (Philippe Prévost) comes with flowers - very angry - cries and begs to Lily-May not to commit suicide because he loves her too much.

On the date-time when the toxic syrup is given in a cup to Lily-May to drink - she backs off.. and comes back home - wearing the cat's collar.

She tries to jump and dance - but we know that she is back in her loneliness state.

This is a beautiful second short film Written, produced and directed by multi-talented Marion Duhaime-Morissette whose main skill-set is Art-Director - that is evident in the set design, art-direction, cinematography, camera movements etc.

She has done a fabulous job in narrative a complex subject in under 19 minutes Bringing the vulnerability of a little girl in a PERFECT world - where we get everything we want - except LOVEz and a will to live.

Tiffany Montambault as Lily-May has acted brilliantly and carried the film on her tiny shoulders but portraying confused, vulnerable, adolescent anxieties, innocence and comedy with her poker face.

All the other actors - Mom, Dad, Doctor and Boy-friend have done justice to their roles.

I especially loved the cinematography of the movie - it was excellent. I just hoped that the beautiful shots just lingered for extra 2-3 more seconds for us to enjoy the painting like canvas Marion has created.

It is a nice little enjoyable movie to watch. I liked it.

I would go with 6.75 out of 10

La Voie discrète

When one longs to meet one LOVEs
The movie is about a shy silent delivery boy Wai working in a French Chinese bakery/ eatery run by his maternal aunt (Heling Li) and a capitalist grumpy uncle (Tien Shue).

During one of his deliveries - Wai meets this gentle lonely old poor Chinese dweller Monsieur King (Tapa Sudana) who is staying in an abandoned construction site. Wai becomes friendly with him. King shares with Wai some wisdom (of Patience) and after coming to France how he misses his Chinese friend and asks Wai to write a letter in Chinese for his friend. But before Wai could ask his aunty to finish writing the letter, King dies.

Wai is so touched by the grief of King's unfulfilled longing dream to meet and contact his friend, that Wai steals money from his uncle and undertakes a journey to China to hand-deliver the LOVE-letter to King's friend.

This is a small beautiful movie that touches and tickles the heat's strings. As audience we connect with the pain, longing and grief of King, and hope that in our life too someone should come and be an ANGEL to help us pass on our LOVE feelings to the one we miss and long for in life.

Duke Habib as Wai has acted brilliantly - He perfectly portrays the innocence of adolescents, the vulnerability, curiousness, respectfulness, compassion, and empathy - all put into one - with an underrated performance.

Thanks to the Actor turned writer director Ho Lam - who keeps the story and screenplay tight - till the last frame - when we understand and realize the story unfolding and what happened.

The casting of the movie is very good - especially of Helling LI as aunt and Tien Shue as cribbing mean Uncle.

I recommend this movie and would go with 7 out of 10


Matriochka - Like Mother - like daughter
Matriochka means a Russian wooden hollow figure toy, where one smaller size toy is found inside the outer bigger toy

A liberal, progressive, feminist, sexually active, caring single-mother Rebecca (Veronica Akopova) lives with her 16 year old daughter Anna (Monica Gallardo), who imitates and lives a care-free life-style just like her mother. Until one day Anna realizes that she is pregnant. To our astonishment Rebecca reacts with much empathy and compassion towards Anna - saying she gave birth to Anna even before she was 16 years of age and wants to have a grand-daughter and sees herself, Anna and the little baby - all living happily together. But Anna does not want the baby and wants an abortion and she finds an ally in the man (Xavier Girard ) of who is ditched and dropped by Rebecca. The man really understands and supports Anna without any questions and Anna feels safe with him. The thing is - Anna has to choose between being with her mother and having the child - or being with this father figure man - and breaking up with her Mom..? This 14 minute short movie ends with this looming question. This short is jointly written and directed by two actresses - Madaleine Marchal and Sarah Monjaret. All the actors in the cast have acted very well, especially Monica Gallardo who has portrayed her 16 year old care-free character with much ease - showing vulnerability, confusion, anger and guilt - all captured in one emotion. Xavier Girard has just a few scenes - with hardly any dialogues but he leaves an impression as a deep, caring, good human being. At times, it is a shock to watch such promiscuous life-style of teenagers (mother and daughter) taking life with so much "I-give-a-damn" life-style.. I would go with 7.25 out of 10 for this well directed movie.


Desperate Mother, Three Children and Hot Sun
Soleil (Sun)

On a hot summer day - Lola (Jeanne Siclier) - a mother of three children is desperate to get a job - is readying herself for going to an interview. The care-taker of the children calls her and informs her about inability to come that morning. With no time on hand Lola takes the children along with her, and parks her car - leaving the children inside and goes to attend the interview. There she confronts a worried Manager (Daniel Lobé) who is irritated by Lola's children hawking from the car. Daniel wants a person with responsibility and Lola gets worried that her children will die in the parked car. She leaves the interview and rushes out to save her children. Surprised Danilel watches the whole scene from his office window and comes down to offer Lola a job. At one point - as viewers - we experience the raw uneasiness of Lola's children dying in the parked car in the hot son. But in the end - we feel good and relieved that not only the children are safe, but Lola gets the needed job.

Actress Sonia Joubert in her debut short - has directed a good movie. She stays focussed and honest to her written short story of 11 minutes. Jeanne Siclier as Lola and Daniel Njo as the Manager have acted well.

I would go with 6.5 out of 10 for this sweet well directed short movie.

Un bon tireur

Feel Good Father-Son Relationship
Un bon tireur (A good shooter) is a French movie directed by Actor Aurélien Recoing. Daniel (Alex Descas) is an aging drunkard father who was a great basketball player, but now barred from the local basketball club where his son Eric (Louis Njinon Ngninkeu) plays basketball. Daniel has high hopes for his son, and wants to teach him master moves of basketball. Both father Daniel and son Eric are very close to each other. As much as Eric takes care of the drunkard father, the father is a keen observer of his son's career and interests.When Daniel pushes his son Eric to practice basketball in the middle of the night in pouring rain - next morning Eric confesses to Daniel that he does not want to become a basketball player but a veterinarian.Unexpectedly without a blink of his eye - Daniel accepts Eric's decision and is proud of his son's choice. That makes Daniel a very good shooter - a good father. This is a short 24 minute well directed. movie. Louis Njinon Ngninkeu as a 14 years old kid - looks so cute - he presents the vulnerability of not being a child and not yet becoming a man - and the way he tolerates, cares and loves his father - is a treat to watch. Similarly Alex Descas too presents a grim reminder of his aging self and melancholic past. It is a feel good father-son bonding relationship movie. Well recommended. I will go with 7 out of 10 for this.

La faute à Fidel!

This is for your own good - Really?
LA FAULTE A FIDEL means Blame it on Fidel (Castro) The era of late sixties and early seventies saw great upheaval in the world - Black revolution in USA, Israel-Palestine conflict - the Gypsy movement, Liberation movement, The Beatles... and French uprising supporting communism. There are many movies made on that theme, but presenting it from the perspective of a 9 year old child gives a unique perspective to the whole theme and dimension to the way we look at emerging new generation in the context of revolution. A very innocent 9 year old Anna (Nina-Kervel-Bay) is happy-go-lucky, playful, free and curious - living with her parents and younger brother when the radical activism bug infects her parents to support communism, liberalism, feminism, protests, rallies, human rights etc. This turns the life of Anna up-side-down and presents to her a world that snatches away her happiness and innocence. There are no easy answers found here, because all of us want to do good and show that we too want to save the world - but the movie stands and presents to us - the gory reminder of what this obsession of saving humanity can do to one's true self and innocence - by just getting lost in going with the flow of events around us. In the end, Anna has lost all her innocence, and missed her childhood. For what? Since 1960-70's nothing much have changed for the betterment of the world - except there is more destruction, exploitation, farce, faking, cheating, mental disorders, blind chase for success... and much more This movie is based on an Italian Novel written by Domitilla Calama and collaboratively made as a French-Italian production Nina Kervel Bay as 9 year old Anna carries the whole movie on her fragile shoulders brilliantly - never missing an emotion - showing despair, anger, anxiety and vulnerability with what is going around her and in the end accepting and imbibing those ideals with much frustration. She rebels against all these but is made to absorb the LIBERATION IDEA forced and thrashed in her mind by BIG TALKERS who want to become SAVIORS. The multi-talented Julie Gavras (Actress, Writer, Cinematographer, Editor, Sound recordist, etc - who has worked in many departments of movie-making)- debuts with this feature film. Julie has taken utmost care in presenting the movie through the child's perspective by keeping the camera much lower, giving us the first hand view of what a child (we were too) see the grown up world. I think what Anna is subjected to as a child - most older people in the world are subjected to the same bombarding of issues and ideas around liberation, freedom, rights etc.. That is where and when humans lose their goodness, innocence and love of being natural and imbibe in them something they are not and are forced to pretend. Just because everyone around us talks of it - we think that is the way to go. This movie opens up little awareness in us of looking at life around us with a different lens and perspective- more as a witness rather than being selfishly clever in going by the flow. In a dialogue the father says to Anna "This is for your own good" and we turn our head in total disagreement. It is a wonderful psychological and political film which shows the faulty lines when a children / adults starts thinking radical and are traumatized by the horrid world we live in. I would go with 7.25 out of 10


Innocent LOVE beyond societal STANDARDS
This malayalam movie is an official remake of a Kannada film "Ondu Motteya Kathe" It is a story of the existential crisis most of the millennium generation (boys and girls- youth) face of being a STANDARD - Perfect - What happens to those - who are diverse - different - in size shape, age, and many other STANDARD features that are continuously projected and bombarded through all media by 99% of corporates? This is the story of a bald and slightly over-age Srinivasan - who is a faculty in a college. He has not been able to find a partner. He covers up his bald head with a wig toppee. His family and friends try to fix up his alliance with girls - which all end up in rejecting him On the other side there is this fat young girl Chinnu - who is outgoing, smart, outspoken - but she too is not able to find a partner because - she does not fit into the STANDARD brainwashed by society By chance through social media - they are introduced by a matrimonial agency. Both see their photo and find each other quite normal to go ahead and meet each other in a public garden. During the meeting - both face the same societal prejudices of STANDARDS Srini did not expect a fat girl and Chinnu did not expect an elderly man. By accident - a child at the bus stop pulls off Srini's wig and gives it to Chinnu and that is a double blow for Srini - a bit elderly and bald. He runs away embarrassed. . Both Srini and Chinnu ponder on their disastrous meeting. But Chinnu feels guilty and calls Srini to hand over his wig. They meet and while leaving Chinnu's scooty hits a pedestrian and Sriniv takes Chinnu to the hospital. There starts their cute little relationship - they grow close to each other and accept each other as friends. On their first small date - day-out - they visit the Biennale art festival being held in Cochin for the whole day - and Chinnu post their joint photos on social media. At the end of the day - both are very happy. But the next day - the trolls - make fun of the ODD couple - an old man and elephant. Srini is humiliated and laughed at by his student and co-faculty in college, and he gets angry at Chinnu for posting their photos on social media and ends the relationship and prospect of meeting Chinnu every again. But Chinnu is much matured and brave. Instead of removing the photo from social media - she gives back to the trolls by posting a video and replying back to the trolls for shaming them just because they do not fit to SOCIETAL STANDARDS. Seeing this video of Chinnu tens of thousands of people on social media like the couple and their joint photo.. and people come forward to Srini and congratulate him for being brave and having such a wonderful girl in his life. Things are going on fine between Srini and Chinnu. But one day - Chinnu asks Srini to come to a Cancer hospital. Expecting the worst - Srini rushes to the Cancer ward and finds Chinnu cut her hair just like a cancer patient.

Srini breaks down and feels that his life which was coming back on track by finding this wonderful girl - Chinnu. The fate is snatching her again from him. But on going near Chinnu - he realizes that Chinnu just donated her hair for cancer patients. Thus the couple hold hands and walk out of the hospital - smiling. There the movie ends. This is a wonderful movie. Much like the movies Hrishikesh Mukherjee and Basu Chatterjee used to make in the seventies. Short, sweet simple - relatable story of common people. Vinay Font as Srinivas and Chinnu Chadni as Chinnu has acted excellently. The director Ashraf Hamza did not have much to do - as this movie is just a scene to scene remake of a Kannada movie. Yet all the credit to the Director Ashraf for maintaining the character, theme, flavor and message of the movie intact. The cinematography and music of the movie is also nice. It is a 120 minute movie - without a single dull moment. It is such an eye-opener and feel good movie of accidental LOVE happening between two individuals. I would surely recommend you to watch this movie I will give 7.5 out of 10 stars for this simple marvellous and powerful movie.


Beautifully crafted Heart warming Well acted movie
I saw a wonderful little French movie - JOSEPH

Liam (Walid Ben Mabrouk), 24 years-old wayward lad, is arrested for stealing from an elderly person. Sentenced to a month's community service in a retirement old-age home, he spends most of his time looking after 70 years old Joseph (Vincent Grass) whose only purpose is to escape from home and not die like his wife inside the old-age home, but go to an island beach creek where he and his wife had dreamt of renovating a small cabin and living there. Joseph seeks help from Liam for fulfilling his final wish.

Will Liam help Joseph, and will Joseph be able to escape the old-age home and fulfill his life-long dream he had promised to his wife?

This movie is written and directed by a young director Jordan Anefalos, who had done a commendable job in executing a humane story and a perfect casting, of both protagonist Vincent and Walid.

Vincent is an old veteran in Belgium, French and International movies (worked in more than 100 movies) while Walid is a new entrant in the world of cinema and has great potential for the future. Both have given brilliant performances - depicting the vulnerabilities of their characters and hopes of a human connection.

The cinematography is good. The movie is a short film of 30 minutes - but it is brisk and keeps the viewers on the edge of the seat.

We wonder that - will Vincent die before he escapes the retirement home?

I liked this movie, especially due to the emotions it draws around the apathy shown by society and family members to old people and how old people miss their moments they spent with the ones they once LOVED.

Sadly old people (irrespective of gender) are mostly forgotten people and are hidden in confined spaces with no one to talk to. The film depicts that old people too have their LOVE dreamz to fulfill.

This movies made me feel the same longing for LOVE

I would go with 7 out of 10 stars.


Girls On a Run - a Good Movie
I saw a Belgium movie - CAVALE (2018) - meaning "On the Run" I have always loved the genre - road movies and coming to age movies have always liked movies directed by women directress.. This movie at least ticks all those criteria

Upon the death of her drug addict mother - a suicidal teenager girl Kathy (Lisa Viance) is forcibly sent to a psychiatric correction center - to share the room with Nabila (Yamina Zaghouani) and Carole .(Noa Pellizart) Kathy runs away from the ward along with her roommates in search of her estranged father who deserted her mother.

There starts the journey of three girls in a stolen car along the Belgium highways in the rural beautiful countryside.

After a journey of mis-adventures - accidents, hitch-hiking, danger, fun, fights, humour, and long walks through forests Kathy finally tracks her father. To avenge her mother's death and her terrible life - she kidnaps her 6 years old step-brother for a ransom, leaving the police pursuing these girls.

No spoilers here - what happens after that forms the rest of the story

The cameraperson cinematographer turned directress Virginie Gourmel does a fine job on several fronts:

1) perfect casting 2) taking excellent performances from all the main leads 3) keeping an objective distance with her camera 4) capturing the Belgium rural landscape beautifully 5) depicting the psyche of adolescent teenage girls truthfully 6) giving a good psychological look at the traumas of youth who are lost in life. 7) keeping some intriguing loose ends open for audiences to ponder. 8) presenting a hard social critical look on the reality of life

Kudos to the Directress for an excellent full-length feature film debut. She has very well partnered with the writer Micha Wald.

All the three girls have acted very well while depicting totally different personalities and psychological make-up so perfectly. Their faces are fresh and acting is spontaneous.

The winner though is the young boy who plays the step-brother of Kathy. He steals the show with his innocence with trusting eyes towards his kidnapper step-sister Kathy.

The cinematography and music is very good.

The movie has won four nominations at international film festivals It is a good European movie to watch - which has its own pace and ample moments to dig the audience's interests.

Surely it leaves us with a sad dry lump and tears in the eyes in our throat in the end.

I will go with 7 out of 10

Si le vent soulève les sables

Who is to blame for this tragedy - RICH countries that care too little...
The movie is about a poor rural famish family in sub-Saharan Rwandan landscape

A School teacher Rahne (Isaka Sawadogo) and his wife Mouna (Carole Karemeca) are blessed with a girl child Sasha (Asma Nouram Aden). A small family has two other children - both boys. Due to scarcity of water the whole neighborhood decided to move to a place where there is some water available. The family starts its journey with a camel, a few goats and little belongings through the treacherous desert which is rebel infested, war hit, governed by corrupt state arm forces. The unbelievable hardship the family faces - losing their goats one by one, and trading one boy to rebels to cross the border, and another boy shot in front of them by another group of rebels. The burden of leaving behind the wife Mouna to simply die under the tree - because she can not walk further. Soon after Rahne and Sasha collapse in the middle of white desert. without food or water and nowhere to go except ocean of endless white desert around

It is only when UNHCR relief workers pick their bodies up and bring to the relief camp - the father Rahne and daughter Sasha - smile

The movie is very well directed by Marian Hansel who has put GREAT effort in shooting in real locations that are so difficult. BRAVO.

The movie is based on a novel - Chamelle by Marc Durin-Valois, which is based on fictionalized real-life interviews of people at the UNHCR camps

The tragedy of people living in the Northern African continent is so grave - life without enough food/ water and on top of that war.

All "so called" Rich people of the world should die with shame for having even a little more land, money and luxuries more than they need. The movie shows how "poor" the whole world has become in LOVE and caring for others.

The gravity of the problems people face is so GREAT that they do not even have tears to cry - when their own family and folks are seen dying of hunger and war in front of them. Only thing matters for them is - They are alive and should carry on without stopping.

The movie's main focus is on Father, mother and daughter - and all actors have acted brilliantly performing their roles as if they are not actors but real people. Kudos to them..

The movie is beautifully shot with very good music. It is a heart-breaking movie - and I was hoping for a better ending than this.

After seeing this movie - if a person is sensitive - will even think twice before flushing one's toilet - It seems a crime we all commit by being greedy for food and wasting water - we all people living in cities contribute to the murders of millions across Africa.

Who is to blame for this tragedy? RICH countries that care too little...

I will go with 7.5 out of 10 for this masterpiece and letting the world know about the lives of under-developed countries.

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