Friday, December 19, 2008

Caregiver (Philippines, 2008)

Caregiver is a Philippine movie by director, Chito S. Roño, and I have to say I am not really familiar with films from the country. I did not have any idea what to expect, except for the fact that I know it would be a drama.

And a drama it really is, sometimes even too much. Everything seems to be too much in this film some moments. Then again, it is not a bad film. Though it has its shortcomings…some acting of minor characters isn’t really great and some scenes seem totally be misplaced (When Sarah looks for the kite in the wood, you almost think you are in a B-horror movie) in the end it is an interesting production. Sharon Cuneta (Philippine mega star) acts really good! The cinematography is decent as well, better than I expected.
The story is about a Philippine woman who travels to London to liver with her husband and start a job as a caregiver. She faces lots of problems with her husband, but also in her work. She is being seen as ‘less’ or even as a ‘maid’.

To summarize: it is a story about finding your own place, the fighting against people who think you don’t belong there and live you life where you could be proud of. Sometimes too much, sometimes misplaced but in all a rather decent production with will leave its emotional impact.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Innocent Steps / Daenso-ui sunjeong (South-Korea, 2005)

To be honest, I had some doubts about this movie. I was afraid that it would be a bad Korean adaptation of Dirty Dancing. Well yeah, it is about dancing and some scenes reminded me of that movie but I have to say I had to revise my thoughts after I had seen this one. Innocent steps is in fact a pretty good film, way better than to be expected! A romantic comedy with enough drama involved to keep being interesting.

The story, of course, is not too complicated but where it starts very funny and not really refreshing the second part of the movie shows the competent acting in a rather dramatic storyline, it even gets a bit unconvential. Though such movies always have their happy end, it is a different happy end than I suspected. I was really amazed by the acting in fact, you can feel the emotion between the main characters (Geun-yeong Mun, A tale of two sisters, and Keon-hyeong Park) and only in a very few scenes the acting seems a bit forced. Great to have seen such honest acting!

I have to say that the director, Young-hoon Park, did a great job with this film! The scenes were intense, beautiful and sometimes heart wrenching. The dancing scenes were pretty believable and honest. The music in it is great as well, I never expected to hear The Cardigans’ ‘Rise and Shine’ in a Korean movie!

A simple story about love, but nonetheless a very good one!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Welcome to the quiet room / Quiet room ni yôkoso (Japan, 2007)

Welcome to the quiet room is a about a girl (Asuka) who wakes up in a psychiatric ward and does not have any clue why she is in there. She is being told she tried to do OD (Overdose). During the film you will get more clues why she has been taken into this mental hospital. Here she meets some patients she becomes acquaintances with.
A really interesting story with great acting of Yuki Uchida ev
olves. The first part of the movie is more about funny stuff. But don’t think you are watching a comedy, because in fact it is also really a strong drama about a girl who is isolated and is trying to find the truth about herself. It is a story about loneliness and how it can drive you crazy. A story of losing all confidence in your own ability.

There will be moments that are funny, moving and sometimes heartbreaking, especially when another patient tells to Asuka: “I am just like you, I am normal, the system is wrong.” A really intense story which is presented like a puzzle.