I’m back to watching a few foreign films. Last night I caught the movie Absurdistan, a delightful little comedic romp, done almost as if by an amateur crew, about two star-crossed lovers anticipating their first night together and the complications that embroil them in a struggle of the sexes. The movie was apparently filmed in Azerbaijan and it looks like most of the crew may have been local (although well casted). The story is basically about a contest of wills between the women of the town (14 families) who decide they are going to withdraw their sexual attentions to their spouses (who have a reputation for being oversexed), led by the young female protagonist and her gypsy-like grandmother, because their basically lazy, not-to-be-bothered menfolk have refused to fix the aging water system and the town has been doing without much water. The story mixes a little magical realism with the age-old battle-of-the-sexes theme. The acting is often rough, but the cast was enthusiastic, and the story is easy to follow. In the end, you realize that is was a nice film and you smile. Sure, it isn’t slick, but very worth the time.
I also watched Fragments, about how a group of survivors from a mass shooting in a small restaurant deal with the experience and the loss of loved ones. The cast was good, but there was simply too much going on, and although it wasn’t bad, I wasn’t too impressed either. Unless you can’t handle subtitles, Absurdistan is a better choice. I thought Dakota Fanning and Josh Hutcherson, both young actors, were very good in their roles, and most of the rest of the cast were good, but these fragmented multiple storyline movies are often less than satisfying. Kate Beckinsale is very pretty and she did a good job. Forest Whitaker is a great actor, but he seems to be getting smaller roles.