09 November, 2006

Word of Mouth

Sixty Six

I enjoyed this semi-autobiographical coming of age tale set in 1966 amongst the Jewish community. It isn’t just a parochial nostalgia trip, it has themes everybody should be able to identity with, mainly the father and son relationship which at the end may have lots of men replying to their partner's question, "no, I've just got something in my eye".

We feel empathy for the boy about to have his bar mitzvah. He feels that, at last, his family will have to acknowledge and appreciate him but events conspire against this, including the date of his celebration being the same as the World Cup Final.

This film is warm-hearted and witty but at a couple of points was perhaps too sad for a comedy due to the father character's problems.

Where it fell down for me was with the doctor’s sub-plot. I just didn’t see how it related to the theme. The time would have been better spent on a sub-plot about the boy and his family.

Box Office #8


Scenes of a Sexual Nature

Aschlin Ditta’s film is very enjoyable but I have some reservations.

Although the characters and relationships are interesting, it’s the nature of a multi-sketch ensemble piece that makes it a little unsatisfying. For a while the sheer hilarity and writing quality is enough to sustain it but it does flag a bit without an overall story arc to give it impetus.

While it is recommended to watch for fun, it is highly recommended to watch as a lesson in how to write dialogue. Ditta’s dialogue delivers the gags and character development but it also sounds natural and fresh.

Box Office #22


Borat

I was looking forward to this so much for several months, it was inevitable that I would be disappointed by the time I finally got to see it - but I wasn’t. It really is relentlessly funny. This more than makes up for the awful Ali G Indahouse.

This road movie featuring the Kazakh journo has been called just a series of sketches but real effort has been made to have an overall connecting story which, while not brilliant, isn't too bad. At the end of one piss-take interview, for instance, he asks the unwitting interviewee something which progresses the story .

I’ve now mellowed regarding the mock-documentary – I’ve got no choice. While it would be nice if they were done absolutely exactly like a documentary with no glaring logic-flaws, that’s so rare that the way it is done here has become the norm.

Box Office #1

3 comments:

potdoll said...

I loved Borat too. And I thought I was going to be irritated. But that nudie fight image still makes me GAG. I hope his fat arse was clean...

I know what you're saying about Scenes. Because of the multi-thread thing there's nobody to hang on to so we don't emotionally invest. The script was more blocky - it didn't flit from couple to couple and back again. It stayed with a couple then went on to the next so there was more room for them to root. The only returning couple were the old couple, who bookended it. That all changed in the edit and I think the result is more fluid and less stagey but we also lose something. Ash told me he didn't expect to earn any money from the film, but hoped it would result in getting him more work. He's so nice you want to eat him. In fact I did. Oops.

He's also from Leicester and we like a bit of Midlands! yay!

Robin Kelly said...

That's interesting about the edit, I wonder what the original version would have been like.

It's bound to get Ash lots of work - I wouldn't mind that on my CV - but hopefully it will do well with DVD rental and TV sales.

From Shakespeare to the present day, the most talented writers have come from the Midlands. I've actually proved this after years of extensive research and will be publishing the data soon.

potdoll said...

Oh I can't wait to read that! I had forgotten about Shakespeare (even though I see that bear sign with 'Shakespeare's County' all the time...) I think of Philip Larkin and Joe Orton when I try and think of Midlanders. Oooooooooo scrummie.