Fine Cinema at the Coming Dubai Film Festival

By Gautaman Bhaskaran
South Asia Editor


Olivia Wilde in "Tron: Legacy"

The Dubai International Film Festival opening with the acclaimed “The King’s Speech” (already reported) will close with “Tron: Legacy”, a high adventure in 3D. Visually spectacular, “Tron: Legacy”, will be part of the Festival’s recent practice of bringing down the curtain with a 3D movie.

A follow-up of Walt Disney’s 1982 classic, “Tron: Legacy” reunites many of the original members of the crew and cast, including Academy Award-winning actor Jeff Bridges. He returns as Kevin Flynn, the world’s leading video game designer degitised into a computer. The other actors include Olivia Wilde (“House”, “Year One” and “The Black Donnelleys”), who as the digital warrior tries to help find Flynn. Or, resurrect him from the computer!

The selection of “Tron…” affirms the Festival’s resolve to go in for an eclectic range of films. If the 1982 “Tron” was the first motion picture to make extensive use of computer imagery, the latest “Tron…” may well be an example of modern cutting-edge visuals.

Apart from “The King’s Speech” and “Tron: Legacy”, the Festival, to run from December 12 to 19, will showcase some of the finest of cinema from all over the world. British helmer Danny Boyle’s “127 Hours” is one. Boyle, who became famous in India after “Slumdog Millionaire”, was inspired by the real and tragic story of a mountaineer, Aron Ralston (played by James Franco), who was trapped beneath a boulder in 2003 and had to make an extremely painful choice to survive. Despite impressive critical responses, the movie created a sense of revulsion among its audiences, some of whom fainted when it was shown at Toronto. As “The Washington Post” said in its review: "It's a film worth seeing, even when it's barely watchable."

Also generating a buzz is Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu’s “Biutiful”, where charismatic Javier Bardem essays a gangster desperately trying for his family’s secure future when he realises his own end is near.

Then there are the Swedish psychological thriller, “Corridor”, about a young medical student whose life turns topsy-turvy when he meets a neighbourhood girl; French comedy, “Copacabana”, starring off-screen mother and daughter, Isabelle Huppert and Lolita Chammah, fighting for and against social norms and; two German dramas, “Suicide Club”, where five strangers meet on a rooftop to commit suicide, and “When We Leave” about a young Turkish woman resisting familial controls.

Romania’s “If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle”, part the country’s new wave cinema, talks about a juvenile delinquent who is provoked into violence just days before his release from detention. Finally, two works have Russia as their backdrop. “Tomorrow Will Be Better”, follows three homeless Russian boys who go to Poland looking for a better life, and “My Joy” from Ukraine that narrates how a truck driver’s routine run into Russia takes a dark turn.

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