Reviews by Country
Monsoon Shootout, which screened in competition at this year’s Sydney Film Festival, is the first feature film from Indian director Amit Kumar. A dark, introspective crime thriller, it takes as its subject the moral dilemma faced by a young policeman working in Mumbai’s slums, where gangland thugs face off against cops who don’t like doing paperwork.… (read more)
Before you flip out, no, I haven’t forgotten what the name of this website is, nor has it slipped my mind the general region from which the films reviewed here originate. That said, the chances of any Asian filmmakers tackling the thorny subject of activist Aung San Suu Kyi and the political stalemate in Burma (or Myanmar) are low. Asian film industries have limited resources and focus first and foremost on their own markets (India excepted). Add to that the … (read more)
Vietnamese-French director Tran Ahn Hung’s Cyclo and The Scent of Green Papaya were exercises in style over substance. Atmospheric almost to a fault, both made you forget that great films possess a strong story to support their images. Unsurprisingly his latest, I Come With the Rain, is more of the same. Tran loads up the garden-variety revenge/redemption tale with enough religious imagery to make the Pope proud, mixing it with an audience-baiting (some would say calculated) international cast and … (read more)
At first sight this new British production has some real talent behind it. Bodyguard: A New Beginning also looks the goods with a screen bursting with saturated primary colours. It’s obvious the film-makers are more than familiar with the Hong Kong crime-action genre. And that’s the picture’s problem: it’s a movie knock-off – Bodyguard is slick and ultimately very empty.
It doesn’t break any new ground with its well worn tale of triad gangs fighting for control of Hong Kong’s … (read more)
Like Bodyguard: A New Beginning, Underground is a recent British-made action film which wears its influences on its sleeve. An independent actioner made on a shoestring budget in the UK before Bodyguard, it’s a straight tournament film: twelve fighters backed by sneering plutocrats, high stakes, one winner, light on sporting conduct, all photographed in gritty low-budget, reality-TV style.
Our host, Fidel (Fidel Nanton) has gathered together six high-flyers with money to burn: each is offered the chance to … (read more)
Bend it Like Beckham, directed by Gurinder Chadha: It was fun. It was heartwarming. It was moving. It was well-crafted. And before your eyes glaze over from my use of the word “heartwarming”, and you start imagining something with a moral and a happy ending, well, I could make it worse by saying that Bend it Like Beckham has both, or I could make it better (I hope) by saying that the substantial entertainment value of this film vastly … (read more)