December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

January 23, 2013

Cleanskin (United Kingdom -2012)

When it’s over, this is a controversial film, because it offers likability in a character who represents atrocity. It’s not your average terrorist bombing film.  There are two stories being weaved. Story 1: Ewan (Sean Bean) is a MI6 agent, who is assigned to eliminate, by any means, a British-born suicide bomber, Ash (Abhin Galeya), and his assailants. Story 2: Ash’s powerful feelings towards justice lands him in law school, but his brewing anger gets him recruited into a terrorist cell. The film shifts between the two stories a few times in the film and is distracting.  I understand the reasoning behind the need to tell Ash’s story, and that is what makes this film different than other terrorist thrillers.  The story humanizes Ash, so the viewer does not just see him as a killer, but also a man who is torn between his emotions - love, loyalty, guilt. That adds an interesting twist to the story. I likehow the violence has purpose. Instead of senseless killing and destruction, each act of violence is choreographed to a specific character.  This is a break from the common “shoot ‘em up” flicks, which seem to be flooding theatres. Bean is a pleasure to watch. He brings great intensity to this role, and it is easy to believe his character to be unflinching as well as remorseful. The ending is fitting and no stones are left unturned. 

My rating: 3.5 out of 5


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