Brothers (2009)

A pretty cliche story depicting the effects of war and how it affects the soldiers that returns to civilian life but unable to settle in completely without encountering some problems psychologically.

The actors, especially Sam by Tobey Maguire is portrayed well in his changes from a loving father and loyal marine to someone who is forced to kill his man and live his life carrying guilt.

Actors play a superb role in this film, or otherwise everything else is actually pretty flat and the music doesn’t really stand out too much too.

Pacing is alright but there’s perhaps just a little too few screentime of the part when Sam is being kidnapped to show his changes from a normal guy to a depraved one.

Overall, a pretty good film for 7.5/10.


Before Sunrise

This is a film where I got interested when it was mentioned in one of the lecturers, heard from them that it’s a really good film that is unconventional and I decided to take a look at what makes it so special.

After 1.5 hour of watching this film, I came to a simple conclusion: It is marvellous, beautiful and so true to life. The movie itself does not has any antagonist or tight plot which is so common in Hollywood style films nowadays. There are just two actors talking to each other for the whole movie, like literally that is all they did inside.

However, it is the natural conversation and acting by the actors that tie everything nicely and creates such a natural flow that I go along without feeling bored. They make me feels like I will actually be able to meet such people in real life at anytime. The scripted dialogues do not feel like it’s acted out, but more of improvised along the way. The film looks more like something I can create just by recording two persons’ conversation over the period of one night.

They say dialogues should be kept to minimum and leave more for visual, but this film breaks all those rules. I must say it probably comes from both, the smart natural dialogues and the super excellent chemistry between the actors, their expressions and reactions are what we normally do in real life, no acting whatsoever, but honest feeling and expression.

Interestingly, I learn so much from characters over the period of one night in the film, from Jesse being someone who distrust people easily probably due to his broken family and childhood, but he keeps a certain innocence that attracts someone who is completely opposite, Celine, who has a happy family but is trying to rebel.

Music is used effectively in the background, created by real life performers etc to make it really authentic.

Lastly, I find that the ending is really unique, a love story where both parties decide to focus on one night and may probably never meet again, they won’t call or text to preserve the memories deep into their heart, and instead promise to meet in the same place in 6 months. And all of these are happening in modern Vienna, something that is really unusual for a love story ending, but I like it so much.

Overall, this is hands down one of the best love film that explores the unconventional methods and storytelling!