Sunday, December 11, 2011

IFFK 2011 Day 3

I saw three movies today. I had planned to watch the Competition Section films, but changed mind at the last moment. Instead, I watched Daddy, a Croatian film directed by Dalobar Matanic, Come As You Are (or Hasta la Vista), a Belgian film directed by Geoffrey Enthoven, and Two Escobars, a soccer documentary.


Daddy is psychological drama set in a hilly village in Croatia during winter. Two daughters are going to meet their father, who left them and their mother many years ago. They are accompanied by the lover of the elder sister. They find no one in the house, but they decide to wait. The younger daughter wants to leave, but stay on as others decide to stay there for that night. They drink, eat, and sleep, but still no trace of the father. The next morning the father comes. He shows no affection to them. While the elder sister tries to ease out things, the younger one returns the compliment.

Things become complicated when the elder sister goes out with her father and tries, though in vain, to persuade him for a reunion with the family. In the meantime, the younger sister, frustrated at being neglected, tries to seduce the lover of her sister. In the night they make love. The father sees it. He cautions the young man the next morning. The young man accuses him of neglecting his family. In a sudden rage, he kills the young man in front of the sisters. The sisters run away and hide in another building. Things become more gruesome in the end.

The storyline is good, the atmosphere is isolated, yet splendid. There is mounting tension between the characters. But still the film does not have the gripping mood that great films of this genre have. Somehow, it fails to gain enough spark and come alive.

Come As You Are

This is a light comedy about three handicapped people. Two of them are confined to wheel chairs (one of them is a cancer patient too) and the third one is partially blind. But they are after what most men in the universe are after: wine and women. They plan to go for a wine trip, but the real destination of their trip is a high class brothel in Spain which they come across on the Internet. Their family members refuse the idea, but they manage to hire a driver-cum-nurse and start the journey. The film narrates the incidents in their journey. The finally make it to the brothel, leading to a poignant climax.

Two Escobars

The fist one is Andrea Escobar, the footballer who was killed for scoring an own goal in the World Cup. The second is Pablo Escobar, the notorious drug mafia lord in Columbia, who was glorified in News of Kidnapping, a novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The documentary shows how the lives, and deaths, of these two were connected, and how soccer influenced their lives. The documentary has a fast-paced narrative, laced with some high voltage action from the soccer field.

Its most striking aspect is how it precisely maps the connection between the rise of Colombian soccer and the money from drug mafia. Once the drug money is out, Colombian soccer collapsed. Chillingly, soccer becomes more important than a matter of life and death, though not in the manner Bill Shankly, the Liverpool legend, imagined. It truly symbolized what Eduardo Galeano wrote in the opening of his book, Soccer in Sun and Shadow: “The history of football is a sad voyage from beauty to duty”.

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