Catch-Up, Reviews

CATCH-UP: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

This is a column where I view, then briefly review films that I’ve been meaning to see for quite a while. Here are my thoughts.

Uncle Boonmee who can recall his… snore.

Palme d’Or winner. That’s got to count for something, right? There is a pantheon where particular art films reside, away from Hollywood, away from big-budget blockbusters and the like. That pantheon is in the form of a cinema, shaped like Auschwitz. There is a sign at the entrance; the words read, ‘Only come in if you have the greatest patience of all time.’

Fidgeting listlessly in your seat is the most exciting thing that’ll happen to you during your experience of Uncle Boonmee. Essentially, nothing truly happens in this film on a dramatic level, which is fine – some get away with it. Take 2001: A Space Odyssey for a great example. But when you don’t even attempt to tie scenes, dialogue, symbolism together on a slightly coherent thematic level, well – that’s when those auditorium exits seem real appealing.

There are some lovely, graceful performances here. And the soundtrack of constant insect buzzing is an effective wash-over of atmosphere, working well to settle the work’s tone, which is at least consistent. But this is a film that is not kind to its audience. And that sums it up: there is no thread to be given to the viewer, to at least piece together the movie. Y’know, so we have a thread to grasp onto. If it’s not compelling, then why should we care?

But hey, at least the catfish sex scene was hot.

52%

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About GaryGreenScreen

Freelance film critic.

Discussion

2 thoughts on “CATCH-UP: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

  1. Can’t say I agree with your review. Mine was much more positive. However, I do concede your point. This film isn’t really so much a movie as it is a piece of esoteric art. Definitely not made for mainstream audiences, but it would do well screening in a off-white museum alcove.

    Posted by The Writer | April 23, 2011, 7:15 pm
  2. Yeah, totally. You know those video pieces you find playing in modern art museums like the Tate, which just accompany the main work? It feels like that to me. Terrifically atmospheric, but not suited to my own popcorn-chewing tastes.

    Posted by gazzax3 | April 23, 2011, 9:07 pm

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Gary Green: Freelance film critic.

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