14 September 2018.
You cannot get more today than this! In a format that I have never seen before, this film that comes to us completely from a computer screen and a smartphone, is innovative to say the least. And captivating, as it evolves from a portrait of a loving family into a gripping thriller.
This tale of a 16 year-old daughter who goes missing is brilliantly presented in a tightly-wound script written and directed by Aneesh Chaganty, along with co-writer Sev Ohanian.
John Cho plays the desperate father who gets a great deal of help from a dedicated police officer played by Debra Messing, as he delves into his daughter’s emails and messages to unearth some clues to her disappearance. This is excellent Hitchcockian stuff that will have you on the edge of your seat while marveling at the ingenuity of its presentation. And maybe seeing the unfortunate disconnection in our age of constant, artificial connections.
Will divulge no more, except to remark on the amazing international talent involved here:
Though this is an American film, the director is an Indian/American who once worked with Google, the co-writer is Armenian/American, the main actor is Korean/American, while producer Timur Bekmambetov is a Russian director from Kazakhstan. This is synergy at its best in this multi award-winning film that has become a box-office hit in Korea.
PREMIÈRE ANNÉE *** (vo French)
Here is an immersive dive into the agonies of getting into, and staying in, medical school in France, seen through the friendship of two completely different students. One is trying for the third time to get into the incredibly competitive process, where in Paris 2,000 high school graduates struggle each year to get into the 300 available places.
The other is straight out of lycée, with a doctor for a father. They become close friends, as they face the arduous realities of all the hours of intense studying and cramming for exams. And this film manages to make it all touching and real.
Director Thomas Lilti was a doctor before he turned to filmmaking (“Hippocrate” and “Médecin de campagne”), and he knows well the incredible dedication and work needed to achieve the status of doctor of medicine. We feel the tension as he shows a system that is maybe too strenuous.
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.