Wednesday, April 21, 2010

[Movie Review] Sous Les Bombes (Under The Bombs). Arabic. 2007.

Sous Les Bombes (Under The Bombs) 2007, Arabic, is not about terrorism. Neither is it about religion, or extremism.

It is a story about a mother and a son separated by unfortunate bombings of a conflicted region in Lebanon.

It starts with Zeina rushing to Lebanon where she finds fear, apprehension, military, international media, destruction, distraught families. And then she finds Tony: a brave Christian cab driver. Both start on a dangerous journey to the disputed region, with their own motives (alert: Tony's motives do not see light until the very end).

What followed was beyond my predictions, and was subtle yet gripping. I forgot that I was watching a movie and not a well crafted documentary (I still believe some of the characters were actual victims of the war... I cannot fathom stage actors bringing the creepy calm that you see on their faces in some of the frames).

Tony, who starts with a greed to squeeze most of Zeina's money owing to her desperation, unravels his true self just when she needs it the most (I will keep the details for you to enjoy).

The frames are stitched together with eerie monologues, empathetic dialogues, poor yet helping hands, a failing state, and a dry yet gorgeous scenery of rural Lebanon.

In the end, sacrificing in their own ways, they do get within hand's reach of Karim, Zeina's lost son.

But are they able to get to him? And what happens to their life thereafter? Does Zeina leave her uninterested business-man husband for a stranger she just met, because he provided more for her in 3 days than her partner of 20 years?

Watch it now to know more. I guarantee a wash out of all your strong prejudices against the Arabic people. You will find that common people nowhere want to bear wars, and the losses that fall out. You will realize that underneath that stereotyped Middle-Eastern face of Tony lies a young and soft heart who enjoys music, food, dreams and a struggle to get to them.

I rate it 4.7/5.0.

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