Thursday, April 12, 2012

A film that values religion and culture

I've watched two Arab-oriented films in the last two years: Prince of Persia and The Devil's Double (both a 3.5/4). And to add to that group I recently saw Black Gold.
  I didn't even see the trailer and didn't expect much from such an unknown feature. But the storyline was mesmerising. And I wondered why this film didn't garner the recognition it deserved. The plot follows a young Prince torn between his conservative father and liberal father-in-law during the 1930s following an oil boom. The pros are the unique storylineline, the characterisation and the superb acting by Antonio Banderas and Mark Strong. To continue that, it seemed the ambitious Arab ruler role was destined for him. I haven't seen much of his films but this is the best I've seen from him. You can't tell who's Mark Strong in the best. He got so well adapted to his role much like in Sherlock Holmes and Green Lantern. He could even play Andy Garcia (lookalike) in his biopic. Plus the film showed respect for the Islamic religion pinpointing to what Middle-Eastern folk think about it and how their cultures properly reflect it.
  Also, the action is incredible.. The film is a screen adventure and you won't want to leave your seat. Of course you would expect such things being the most expensive Arab film backed by a one on a Middle-Eastern subject - $55m.
  However, there are many plotholes and many critics have been angered on the account for not expanding the plot well enough. Also, Freida Pinto's role as a princess was too far-fetched. Making her an Arab is like making a black woman a white (no offence). Though her presence in Rise of the Apes and Immortals 2011 did not stop them from shredding the box office. And I'm sure she only starred in Immortals as the beautiful Oracle due to its director being Indian. But a bunch of screentime will be wasted on her in this.
  Finally, excluding the heroine and the not so well adapted story, the movie is totally fun and has purposeful motive. It's worth watching more than once. It ranks 3 in Middle-Eastern based films after The Devil's Double and Prince of Persia. The film is directed by Jean Jacques-Annaud (The Name of the Rose, Enemy at the Gates), who has co-written with Menno Meyjes and Alian Godard. Based on the novel South of the Heart: a novel of Modern Arabia by Swiss writer Hans Ruesch.
  A 3.5/4 as deserved.


Hassan Faheem said...

HAHAHAHA making a black women white...... awesome review !!

bilal baig said...

i need the torrent....

Nisar Mustafa said...

Thanks all.

Nisar Mustafa said...

Sent via Facebook.