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Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (2011)
An original, high-class, must-watch drama
A separation is about a man whose life got complicated because of a devastating incident after he separated from his wife. He then tries his best to keep calm and solve every problem in his life rationally, which includes desperate tries to keep his family together.
This one is greatly about dialogues and drama between the families and inside the families, as well. But it is all together so breathtaking that you can't take your eyes of it. You also get to know just as many characters as necessary, which makes it easier to focus on everyone's state of emotions and their changes. A lot of twists and turns are contained in the story, so it keeps you entertained and excited the whole time. What I really liked is having that feeling when you can't decide which side you should take, when you feel so bad how circumstances were unmerciful for every single member of the two families that got involved in a really unpleasant situation that happened.
Farhadi definitely knows how to produce a high-quality drama and induce a lot of viewers' tensity and compassion. It is also pretty realistic. Honestly, this is his best movie I have seen so far. That's why I've rewarded it with a 10/10
Shichinin no samurai (1954)
A simple, brilliant classic
Seven Samurai is a movie about a small Japanese village having problems with bandit attacks. Therefore they decide to secure their safety by finding seven samurai who would defend them.
First, I would like to say that I have broken a few stereotypes after I have watched this movie. The facts that it is a long movie from the 50's, a Japanese one, and a black-and-white one, rejected me from watching it earlier. I got used to all of these facts pretty fast and just enjoyed this masterpiece.
The simplicity of the plot easily bought my full attention, as well as occasional comedy parts which successfully broke the monotony and came as a refreshment. It is interesting finding out how Japanese people were living in those times and it is shown really well. You actually manage to pretend for a moment you have left our advanced world and became a part of their primitive village.
I respected Kurosawa before I even watched any of his movies. I respect him even more now when I have watched this great classic and I will surely be looking for something else he directed. The reason why I did not give this movie a 10 is occasional bizarre cryings, runs, deaths, but that surely did not destroy the whole experience.
Mother's Immortal Love
Mommy is a drama about a problematic teenager Steve, diagnosed with ADHD, kicked out of school, and his not much less problematic single mother Diane. The two are not an ideal combination in making the best life decisions but they most certainly remind you what true bondage between a mother and a son represents.
The whole story is quite overwhelming, with a lot of ups and even more downs. The basic point is to show how every mother loves her child eternally and to indicate that the love can't be broken whatsoever. Every child knows it but rare are the ones who are truly grateful and who cherish it each day... Which they should, because a mother is a person who loves you most from your first to the last day of life, even though it may not always seem that way. So, this movie makes you wonder if you are enough thankful for having a caring and loving mother.
I liked that this drama shows in fact an extreme situation in family and it is more than interesting watching oscillations in relationship between Steve and Diane. It was honestly an emotional roller coaster for me too and, as I said, inspired me to revalue my priorities and encouraged me to value immaterial things in life. I highly recommend watching this movie. It is a rare, but a well deserved 10/10 from me.
Perfetti sconosciuti (2016)
All of us have secrets
Perfetti sconosciuti or Perfect Strangers is about a group of friends that are having a nice, random dinner until a quite unpleasant and intriguing game comes to someone's mind. The game gets more and more interesting as the time goes by because they are starting to wonder if they know who their friends (and partners) really are.
The concept of the movie is so simple and makes it easy to watch and follow the plot. What I actually liked most is that you start thinking how much of yourself is there to reveal and how much could you be able to reveal to someone you have allegedly known your whole life. The truth is that people get anxious when you start browsing their mobile phones or computers without their control. Even if they maybe don't hide anything, they always believe there is a chance that something doubtful or too personal could be found. But we generally don't think about it because it is wrong for someone to stick his nose in our personal data shelter.
Anyway, the whole point is well interpreted throughout the movie. I started to wonder how bad that game could go. Combined with a likable Italian humor, this movie guarantees a perfect movie night. Just hope that people with whom you are watching it don't get similar ideas!
Captain Fantastic (2016)
Different perspective of living
This is a story of an exceptional father Ben that has an alternative approach in parenting and living. He is persuaded to do that job by himself because he suddenly loses his wife and remains with his six children.
What really amazed me was that a man can do such a good job as a parent. It is delightful seeing such obedience, respect, trust and love between a father and children. Even though the conditions in which the kids are growing up are, let's just say, alternative, it is unavoidable to notice such a wonderful harmony.
I agree this topic can cause controversies. Law is conservative and sensitive when it comes to parenting because the first assumption is a downgrading result of children's perspectives and it is quite difficult to prove the opposite. We disapprove choices the individuals make while raising children, instantly presuming that those choices are wrong and doing damage to them. The truth is that those children grow up stronger and smarter than most of their peers nowadays.
The main question opens up: Did we do ourselves a disservice when we developed high technology and exposed it to children, making it the only source of fun? Has the commercialization strongly pressured our lives that we don't even know what's essential? Is a human evolution in general going backwards?
The fact is the kids are miserable going to school and see it as a painful obligation, not as an opportunity to broaden their potential young minds. It is definitely something the world needs to work on.
Anyway, the movie deserved a 10/10 from me and certainly made my top 10 of all time movies, maybe even top 5. I would also like Viggo gaining an Oscar award since he definitely deserves it for an extraordinary acting he has presented.
En man som heter Ove (2015)
A heart-warming life story
This is a story of a ridiculously grumpy and constantly irritated and annoyed old man who is a creature of habits, a perfectionist but also a lonely and sad man who recently lost his life partner, so he doesn't want to be a part of this world any longer.
What makes you compassionate with Ole is his rough events throughout his whole life. They gradually appear and slowly show the other side of an angry, frustrated man whom you then actually start to sympathize. He manages to find a key to his inner peace, even though he wasn't looking for it. All he had to do was open his heart once again.
You shouldn't judge a book by its cover. You should give everyone a chance to bring light in your life, even when you seem that it's too late to get anything fixed. What everyone deserves is a peaceful life and eventually a peaceful death. These are the things I've learned or at least remembered myself while watching this wonderful movie.
Under sandet (2015)
Firstly, I'd like to say that war movies don't interest or intrigue me too much. I'm a pure pacifist and unable to comprehend the hatred within humans. However, when I heard that his movie has been nominated for Oscar, I gave it a chance and now I'm certainly glad I did.
What made me even more sensitive and upset in this movie is torturing young boys, treating them really badly, learning them things neither the adults should ever learn to do. It's impossible to avoid the fact that many children were greatly involved in many wars since they are so easy to manipulate, afraid to oppose and deny but they are also fast- learners, therefore ideal to recruit.
Then, there is the other side of the story presented by Sgt. Carl which showed me that everyone has a heart, no matter how rough and ruthless they seem on the outside. Even though I support the humane way of treating people, I can understand why it should be different in war. The situation and tasks are too serious to risk having someone slacking off. Sgt. Carl was just following his orders but he gradually put his guard down which was quite unexpected and I think it's generally the right approach, whatever the conditions are. Things can mostly be successfully dealt with without causing traumas or should war state be an exception?
So, Land of Mine opened an interesting question: Does it make you a greater leader and a bigger man by putting fear in your inferiors' bones, having no heart at all and having people that despise you? Or does the compassionate and understanding approach, having people that trust you and feel at least a little more comfortable considering the situation?
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
The story is intriguing from the very beginning of the movie. What I liked the most in general is that you have no clue what will happen next. I quickly noticed a resemblance with the story of series Wayward Pines. The accident, life saved by a stranger, suspicious intentions, incomprehensible circumstances... You just put yourself in the same position and it does not feel comfortable. It is hard to trust anyone and you feel curious about the life outside the borders. How could we ever know what is it like to lose everything we had and to be forced to forget about everything we know about our world in only a matter of hours? I must confess that I am a bit disappointed with the ending, probably because I am not really into Mystery and Sci-Fi. Anyways, it didn't ruin the whole story, it just made it a lot more interesting to think about and surely a lot more shocking.
First I'd like to say how unbelievable it is finding out the concept of mental facilities. No matter this movie was filmed over 40 years ago, I still think it's mostly applicable to methods that are being used in modern age as well. I suggest it's much easier to give a patient "a happy pill" to do all the work. I find it very disturbing, especially a part where they put electricity through your brain. Like that can do any good for a patient. In my opinion, those people weren't patients at all when they first arrived. I think it's applicable to present situation when people are sent to these madhouses. They arrive mostly like Mac did. I definitely wouldn't call him crazy. Those people just need someone to talk with, someone who can understand their feelings and help them solve any sorts of problems in a healthy way. But it's much easier to make a plant out of a human and announce he is insane, isn't it? I felt throughout the whole movie like they didn't even want their patients to recover from their, so called, madness. You convince yourself in that kind of environment that you actually are crazy, especially when you follow their rules and schedules. The littlest confrontations and changes of rules shock the whole system. That's exactly what Mac has done. Anyway, I didn't even feel like I was watching a 40-year-old movie because of its timeless thematic. Well, I only realized it because Jack Nicholson is not so young anymore.
Fathers & Daughters (2015)
Exceptional story of not giving up
This movie really got me thinking about what priorities are in life. It got me pretty emotional too because I've identified myself in Katie but in Jake as well. It's hard filling up the void inside yourself and you do wrong actions to make it right. You know so well it's wrong but there's nothing you can do about it, you have to live with it until you figure out your whole life, literally. Everyone's got their own ways of dealing and avoiding but they are rarely working. We don't see help coming right at us because we are too occupied with our problems, that's what makes things worse. When we manage to confront ourselves, we realize that we have been missing out great things that were surrounding us the whole time but we were unable to see it. I love it how the movie has bigger meaning and a real impact on my standings. I realize how selfish we are (including myself) for not cherishing the moments we have, just like Jake did, because you never know when it will be over.
To start up, I honestly haven't seen such a good movie as this one for a longer time. It is so emotional and heartbreaking watching those two, firstly in Room, then in the real world as well. I found interesting realizing the oscillations in getting used to the whole massive change between a grownup and a child. Freedom is relative, this movie proves it. So is space and boundaries. If you don't know what's on the other side of the wall and don't even know the other side even exists, you feel safe. You don't doubt your freedom at all. Jack felt like everything is happening with a reason, just the way it should be. His imagination made him believe that. It was also quite interesting watching how Jack's thoughts broadened up as time was passing by. I was surprised how well he adapted to new surroundings, unlike his poor mother. She was questioning herself a lot, every single day, got really overwhelmed and I saw her crash coming a few times throughout the movie. It's impossible not to feel sorry for her considering how strong and resilient she stayed.
I always like watching movies based on this topic, following a boy that has experienced a big tragedy and noticing how he thinks, responds, reacts and talks with other people. It was really tough seeing parents in both families struggling to communicate and cope with their kids' problems. Those are very vulnerable ages and really hard dealing with, as for their peers, as well for the grown ups surrounding them. I'm not even closely disappointed with the movie altogether, fascinated with acting (especially the kids' acting) and the message this movie sends to every child, and also to the parents that need to cooperate and be full of understanding and patience. I also shed a few tears, especially during the breakdowns which were quite emotional. Being not that far with these kids by age, I must say the temptations always existed but it is very important to resist them, particularly if they are close to the ones in the movie. So, my vote is a 9 out of a 10.
The Martian (2015)
Another Sci-Fi Perception
As a person who is not really a Sci-Fi fan, I must say I'm highly impressed with this movie. It actually gave me another perception, rather than dealing with Space objects, forces, etc. which has been seen many times in "Space movies". The introduction of stationary survival mode, which is ensuring food and water supply (roughly) makes you think in whole new direction. How to fight with literally nothing around you? How to get yourself quickly back on feet and pull yourself together? Sounds a bit tough, doesn't it? To sum up, just like Interstellar, this is incomparable with other Sci- Fi movies. Completely unpredictable outcome, a lot of ups and downs, twists and turns, makes your heart beat a bit faster than usual. So for me, it's a 9, almost a 10, because I still think some parts wouldn't be so possible or luckily completed, but I guess it's just my pessimism (or ignorance) speaking!
Cidade de Deus (2002)
What I taught from this movie is that you need to believe in yourself and your success whatever the circumstances are. You may be surrounded by criminals and killers in a village where few got out, you may be called a loser and weak but as soon as you know it, you are an overall winner because you followed your dreams and actually made something of your life. Karma is unforgiving for the bad but it rewards the good in any which way. It's something everybody underestimates. As a European, I find it completely incomprehensible that people live this way. I judged them the complete movie and it's really hard to watch all of those lives get wasted for actually nothing but I guess it's something me and my culture (in general) can't realize. I found a connection with Rocket. He was a guy which was aside most of the time, has some friends but no enemies. I believe many innocent people like him get killed in favelas, which is frustrating, but surely you have much more chance in succeeding than gangsters and drug dealers. Anyway, an inspiring story, it was easy to watch as well even though a lot of people were involved in it.
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Simply a masterpiece
This is surely in top 10 of the movies I've watched. I find almost unbelievable how people can put themselves together in jail and be even more productive than outside the jail, opposite of the expectations. This topic is really interesting, when people are left with nothing but communication with each other and it makes them stronger and give them hope to live the next day. Hope is good, as Andy would say... Filled with phrases to remember, it strongly contributes to the quality and impression of the movie. Robbins and Freeman fantastic, as always. I'm not surprised this is on top of IMDb ranking list, it's a masterpiece. I wouldn't feel sorry watching it several times, it's totally worth it.
Such an amazing story. It's fascinating how child's sayings, words or even nodding could ruin a grown man's life in a moment and make him feel helpless. Especially in a small and conservative society like this one. I tried putting myself in Lucas' head during the movie and it was quite frustrating. People talk, stories like this spread extremely fast. Before you know it, the whole village is talking about the incident that actually didn't happen but you can't do anything about it, can you? Anyway, a really sensitive but interesting topic. I watched the most of the movie with my breath held and therefore highly recommend it. PS: Thrilled (again!) with Danish production, of course, including the actors (Klara did an incredible acting job).