Sunday, February 19, 2006

Fateless (2005)

Touching portrayal but the plot's as thin as this guy...

Genre: Drama (Hungary, Germany, UK)

Starring: Marcell Nagy, Áron Dimény

Directed By: Lajos Koltai

Overview: This is based on the true story of a Hungarian Jew sent to a concentration camp.

Acting: Without question, the roles, not only of the father and the family, of Marcell and every single person involved at every step, was astounding. I found the most interesting acting was right at the beginning and at the end, when we see the Budapest citizens and how they react to the Jews, pitiless and resigned. Powerful stuff.
Rating: 9

Cinematography: Take the camps from Shindler's List, add the architecture and interior designs of The Pianist and Sunshine, throw in a dash of Saving Private Ryan for city-scapes and effect filters, and there you have Fateless, a well staged, properly thought out film that played it completely safe with nothing new to add to the genre, drawing its cinematographic success specifically from other similar films. Impressive for a first time look at the genre, this was a boring and pathetic repeat of the same old movies.
Rating: 7

Script: The other films mentioned above had an angle, Shindler gave historic perspective, Sunshine was a generational tale, each movie taught us something. Yes there was an interesting slant on how he tried to find joy among the memories of that place, but Life is Beautiful did that first. You know, the writing was fine, but not enough to make me think anything great.
Rating: 7

Plot: The story was boring. Is it wrong to say an important film about persecution of Jews during the Holocaust was boring? Hey, guess what? 'Important' film is my meat and potatoes, so I've already seen all the other ones that said the exact same thing, and better. This one had nothing new to tell. I've seen the horrors of the Holocaust in about 10 other films. Stop repeating everything!
Rating: 4

Mood: Like with the cinematography, the mood was safe. This isn't the kind of movie that makes you sick and hide your eyes or cry endlessly. It's not overwhelming, so you people who pussied out for Shindler might like this one better. Quality themes throughout, some good alienation / lack of identity / displacement stuff at the end, but overall nothing spectacular.
Rating: 7

Journal Entry: For as much as I was glad to have been rescued, it would have been nice if they had given me a little change of clothes...

Overall Rating: 68% (Fateless? Lacked Willpower Too...)

Aftertaste: The film disappointed me utterly. When I told people I was going to this, my invite said how this was "unlike all the other holocaust films because it's more about our character's perception". I thought it would be like an escapist rendition, a sad yet joyous recounting filled with the fantastical because the truth was just too horrible, hence very powerful juxtaposition throughout. That would have been cool, but instead I got the most common, blandest concentration camp story I've ever seen without any slant whatsoever. Please...