Where Do We Go Now? Movie Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Where Do We Go Now?

    Reviewed by George Constantin on July 11th, 2012
    Hopscotch
presents a film directed by Nadine Labaki
    Screenplay by Rodney Al Haddid, Thomas Bidegain, Nadine
    Labaki, Jihad Hojeily, and Sam Mounier

    Starring:
Nadine Labaki, Claude Baz Moussawbaa, Leyla
    Hakim, Julien Farhat, Yvonne Maalouf, Antoinette Noufaily,
    Kevin Abboud

    Running Time:
100 mins
    Rating: M
    Released:  June 28th, 2012


7.5/10

 


Written and directed by Nadine Labaki, this heart-warming modern fable follows her impressive directorial debut in Caramel (2007). Set in a small, isolated Lebanese village, a group of Muslim and Christian women band together to ingeniously devise a plan to distract the local menfolk in an attempt to defuse mounting inter-religious tensions. Most days, the women gather at the cafe of feisty Christian widow Amal (Nadine Labaki) to work on joint projects and share gossip and song. These resourceful women, of all ages, shapes and sizes, united by their unwavering friendship, try almost every means at their disposal. At first, they burn every newspaper around, then sabotage the only working TV set. When the refuge of blissful ignorance fails, they turn to other distractions - such as falsifying religious miracles, hiring a travelling band of Ukrainian 'belly dancers', and the baking of hashish-laced pastries. As a series of chaotic incidents tests the women's ingenuity, can they manage, with their usual sass, to successfully stave off the fall-out from the distant war?


Where Do We Go Now? opens with a poetic and visually striking scene of a funeral procession comprised of women of all ages, carrying photographs of their dead men, folk moving and dancing in a stylized manner as they march down a dirt road towards a cemetery. Once there, Muslims and Christians part ways, as they move into their respective graveyards. Despite the film's manifestly humorous, irreverent and rambunctious nature, at its heart it carries a core of blackest sorrow. However, one gets the impression that the central message is somehow being trivialised by all of the singing and dancing. At times, the film seems to be oscillating between a Greek tragedy and a musical comedy. As well, the sombre mood of the opening scene seems to have been largely lost through Labaki's over-indulgence with too many (women's) plans, and too many silly and unnecessary subplots. Labaki is a talented and forceful director with a powerful screen presence, and although Where Do We Go Now?  has a number of flaws, it has a stout heart, and anger that offsets some of its more obvious shortcomings. Overall, it is still a considerable cinematic achievement and worthy of a look for the highly original opening scene alone. It features great camera work by Christophe Offenstein, and original music and songs by Khaled Mouzanar. Check it out.






 
 



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