Sunday, July 22, 2007

Cinema Talk - House of Sand and Fog (2003)

Director:Vadim Perelman
Writers (WGA):Andre Dubus III (novel)
Vadim Perelman (screenplay)
Release Date:26 December 2003 (USA)
Cast: Jennifer Connelly ... Kathy
Ben Kingsley ... Behrani
Ron Eldard ... Lester Burdon
Frances Fisher ... Connie Walsh
Shohreh Aghdashloo ... Nadi

Not many will jump at the idea of watching a tragedy, But a film like "House of Sand and Fog" is a scare offering in between the junk of movies released every week. I never heard of Vadim Perelman and this turns out to be his debut as a director, but never in the middle of the film, you realise this to be his first one. The screenplay is without any loopholes and the time transition showed in the film, of course due to the excellent cinematography by Roger Deakins,lifts the film to a different level all together.

You will wonder in the beginning with both the main characters are given equal time with parallel editing: Jennifer who plays Kathy and Ben Kingley as Behrani. But soon enough they will cross lines and that’s when the film actually picks up in the tangent. I just loved Shahreh Aghdashloo, not only she molded herself into the character of Nadi, but it seemed to be written on her. Similarly goes for Ben Kingsley, whose role as Behrani makes you think, was the other way around, was the character based on the castled actors. Awesome casting and nothing more can be added on to Jennifer's role.

Her acting powers as a drug addict and under depression patient seems to be the only way to act, after her unforgettable performance in "Requiem for a dream". The film opens up so many issues about our personal life, our constant search for a stable but exciting life.
Kathy is under depression due to failure to come in terms with her failure, Burdon is a failure due to his boredom with childhood love turned wife, Behrani is a failure due to his tainted past and living to terms for his son Esmail, Nadi is a failure for coming in terms with their gypsy of a life. Every character is trapped in to his own predicament and they all collapse like a pack of card due to their own short-sightedness. And that defines this great tragedy.

Nowhere in the film, will you be able to take a position and takes sides with one of the characters. They all seem to be right in their own predicament. In terms of film technique, this film has absolutely no issues, just that in the middle, the narrative kind of slows down and soon enough picks up for the finale.

There are various points from the film which will blow you away.Whether it is the tragedy or a some of the sequence shot like a music video, this film will show you various facets of human psychology and when you pick up the DVD, do check in Shohreh's Audition tape from the special offering.

Will set your mood after you had shed some tears, you are ready for the film to take over you.

My rating: 8/10


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