Wednesday, February 22, 2012

"A Separation" = A pain in the ass to watch

yo wassup an oscar nom 2012 movie review:

I like a film that can give me something new and different - and if it's going to be something conventional then I want it to be fun.

What "A Seperation" does achieve in a unique way is its sense of energy and life. It's clearly well written and shot, and always engaging. The plot is very well constructed and the filmmaker is very good at telling the story in a sophisticated way - and that's why the film is getting so much attention.

However it's an annoying experience to go through this drama. So much of the film's conflict is because of female oppression in Iranian society - much conflict caused because a woman needs a husband's permission to do things (this is a problem for many of the characters). Witnessing tempers boil and strife arise from such irritating oppressive sexist realities is annoying. It's annoying to witness a bunch of people run around like chickens with their heads cut off because they have to live in some society where women need a man's permission to do things.

Now the conflict is more complex than that - the story is definitely not about female oppression - it's about some other shit that comes up that gets really complicated - and frustrating, and stressful - so no it's not such a great experience this film, and it's been done before: complex plot with multiple flawed characters. When this happens in blockbusters like Traffic and Babel it always gets awards. People respect this. It's definitely not easy to pull off.

What I wonder as a writer and director is why write this? Why would someone want to make films that are about arguments and conflicts without any joys?

I get that it's thought provoking and that there is potentially much to be gained from watching this film. BUT I just wonder about people who spend their time making a film about a bunch of people fighting ... for what? I want to make films that touch people's hearts, or are fun, or make them laugh. I'm totally down with being moved to tears by a film as well. But I'm not that into being aggravated and angered by the arts. At the end of an angry documentary, present a movement towards hope or inspire me. If you're going to piss me off, then at least give me a laugh or a cry. Some kind of healthy release.

Once again - this film is very well made.
It's just not enjoyable.

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