17 November 2017.
Not a great week, I’m afraid. Wait for next week when there will be some fine ones.
TEHRAN TABOO **1/2 (vo Farsi)
This is a film that is done in animation, atmospheric and politically-attuned, with quite an intriguing storyline. It is well-made, has been making the rounds of film festivals and audiences seem fascinated.
But unfortunately it portrays drug abuse, prostitution, corruption and cheating, as though those were the norm in Iranian society. It literally depicts an Iran that is 100% rotten, and that perspective is neither fair nor correct. The upshot is, the form is good but the content is way off target.
The Iranian director, who lives in Germany and whose funding came from Europe, seems to hold a huge grudge against his native land. Otherwise why magnify what may be true of a small portion of the country, into a lurid, juicy generalization? Compare his vision with grander, politically-astute directors such as Farhadi, Panahi and Mirkarimi, who see the faults in the system, but show them with a deeper understanding of Iranian culture and character. This director’s view is narrow, negative and detrimental.
JUSTICE LEAGUE *1/2
Here is yet another action blockbuster with the recurring list of DC Comics characters brought to life – for mass consumption, and mass profits for the studios. Bringing together heavyweights of the series such as Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman, plus a few new additions, this one is darker and more ponderous. And much too violent. In comparison, the Marvel characters, last seen in THOR and GUARDIANS of the GALAXY, were far more entertaining – a hilarious ride.
The only two standouts in this heavy-handed concoction (by the over-zealous Zack Snyder and Joss Whedon as late replacement) are special newcomer The Flash, played with enthusiastic innocence by Ezra Miller, and the sublime Gal Gadot who embodies the wondrous Wonder Woman – radiant, endearing, a delicate but powerful force. Ben Affleck seems too old and heavy to be a convincing Batman, and the gaunt Jeremy Irons should really be retiring. Tiresome.
MARYLINE *1/2 (vo French)
The very talented Guillaume Gallienne, a member of the prestigious Comédie Française, who came out with the brilliant “Les Garçons et Guillaume, à Table” in 2013, falls flat with this insipid tale of an aspiring actress. Much ado about nothing.
Try again, you multi-awarded actor/director…
JALOUSE *1/2 (vo French)
Karin Viard is one of France’s most popular and versatile actresses. Unfortunately, this mediocre tale of a woman who simply cannot control her jealousy isn’t one of her best – not because of her, but the cliched scenario. Wait for it to come on TV.
HAPPY DEATH DAY *1/2
Another one of the horrors (literally) which Hollywood churns out to attract the teeny crowd.
A spoiled college student keeps living the day of her horrific death over and over again – but do we, the audience, need to? Give this a wide miss unless you’re a silly teenager…
WESTERN * (vo German and Bulgarian)
Some German laborers go to work in Bulgaria…shouldn’t it be the other way round?
And what’s so ‘western’ about that? Supposedly, trying to accept each other… Duller is not possible.
Superb **** Very Good *** Good ** Mediocre * Miserable – no stars
Neptune Ravar Ingwersen reviews film extensively for publications in Switzerland. She views 4 to 8 films a week and her aim is to sort the wheat from the chaff for readers.