“L’Enfant” should be a great way to start any day. 12.45pm and I finally sit myself to see the film that won the prestiguous Palme D’or this year. Directed by the acclaimed Dardenne brothers and filmed with the kind of rare simplicity and subtle realism that is uncommon in contemporary cinema, L’Enfant is a powerful exploration of human relationships and how we deal with change in our lives. Set in an industrial Belgian town, it is a spiritual study of an aimless, slacker couple and how the birth of a child will force them to stretch the limits of their humanity. Definitely one of the top three films I’ve seen at DIFF so far. Count on my dear colleague Faizan Rashid to provide you with his insights on this great film.
3pm. I remind myself not to judge “Edison” despite the fact that this film has been universally maligned by every serious film critic and fan. I remind myself again not to judge “Edison” because of one Justin Timberlake. Well, guess what? Screw reminders. “Edison” just plain sucks. It is one of those misconceived productions that has the audacity to take leftovers from every crime, action and thriller genre and build a sad, substandard film about around it. The film’s opening credits shamelessly headline Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey. Both these great actors are but gloried cameos. Actually, the lead character of the story belongs to Justin Timberlake. Now if you can say that with a straight face, the next round of your favourite beverage is on me. Timberlake is a successful entertainer in the music industry but he is no actor. He cannot act and he has no place or future in films. In an already weak film, Timberlake sticks out as a sore thumb. I pity him because he may be the new butt of our jokes. I have more to say and I look forward to tearing “Edison” a new one in my full review coming at you soon. Mark your calendars.
6.30pm. “Love + Hate.” I don’t like walking out on films however bad it may be. But this time it couldn’t be helped. ‘Issue films’ are films that have an important social or political subject at their heart. In the wrong hands they can be both deceitful and manipulative. “Love + Hate” takes the racial tensions between Pakistanis and the British living in the UK and weaves love stories between them. The film sputters, stops and screeches to an abrupt halt after what seems like an eternity of cliché after cliché, stereotype after stereotype. It violates the fundamental law of screenwriting – write for subtext not for context. Because the screenwriter (he is also the director) writes the film on the nose, he kills it. Interestingly, Faizan Rashid does not share my negative reaction to “Love + Hate.” Look out for his review because I certainly am!
OK, roll on Day 6 -- by Adnan Khan