Friday, January 07, 2005

In This World (2002)

"So... you got First Class tickets too?"

Genre: Drama (UK)

Starring: Jamal Udin Torabi, Enayatulah

Directed By: Michael Winterbottom (The Road To Guantanamo; 24 Hour Party People)

Overview: Two Afghan refugees attempt to smuggle themselves to London for a chance at a better life.

Acting: The acting in this film is excellent. For actors who've been in nothing else before or since, it's impressive that in every scene, the fear and isolation, loneliness and hope are so well done. This director has a few titles under his belt by know ansd you can tell that he's comfortable in that weird little chair of his. There's no doubt that he uses his experience well.
Rating: 8

Made to look ultra-real, this is shot like a documentary, and for the first half hour I wasn't sure if it was or not. So many different styles are blended in this film: Hand-held, night vision, panoramic, their progress represented by that red line moving across a map; the professionalism of the camera work is astounding and unique, without being distracting.
Rating: 9

Honest and real, there are no great lines to walk away with, but this film was so well written that the bad jokes seem endearing and everything people say seems perfectly natural.
Rating: 8

The plot is great, exciting, simple. From Pesawar, Afghanistan, we follow the trek of two people (one kid, one adult), to their attempted final destination of London, England. The younger child, Jamal, shows gems of wisdom beyond his years, like the scene where he bribes a guard with a Walkman. This film illustrates very well that the people smuggler's world is a shady one. There was one scene I wish had been explained a little better, well a lot better frankly, and you'll know which one I'm talking about when you see it, I'm not about spoilers.
Rating: 8

In this movie you'll see the biggest ice cream cone ever from Iran, the bloodiest killing of an ox in Afghanistan (a little much I thought); still, the cultural subtleties make for very interesting moments. Without the quality of the camera work and the score, or lack of score as many scenes show, the mood would not have been anywhere near as good. I thought that the documentary style made you feel like you were right there. Even the font they use and the ending credits enhance the film in this category. And a perfect title too... You'll see why.
Rating: 9

Ah, the Patriot Act, where Men are Muslims and Freedom is fleeting!

Overall Rating: 84% (Amazing!)

Aftertaste: I'm surprised at the overall rating here. It's higher than I expected. This film did not move me as much as I may have made it out to. It's great, and I really liked it, but this style of film is one that every person might not appreciate, especially if you don't like documentaries. Anyways, it's one hell of a dramatic adventure, and I'll recommend it to anyone who likes art house films.