Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Of Gods And Men

Bloody selfish monks...
Of Gods and Men was released at the Cannes Film Festival last year to ecstatic reviews, going on to win the Grand Prix. The film is based on the true story of a cistercian monastery outside Algiers, Algeria, during the Civil War. Now, as it is a French film, it is in French. I wonder how many Amazon and Lovefilm-based stupidheads will complain about this? Only one way to find out. First up, the only one star amazon review I could find:
Long (It's two hours. That's not long. That's a pretty standard length for a drama film, to be honest.),slow (Well, it doesn't hurry itself. But this story required a slow pace. It isn't a Bay movie, you know. This film has a plot, unlike his entire oeuvre...) ,uninspiring (Uninspiring? These people risked their lives for the community that they served. What isn't inspiring about that? Fuckwit.) and tedious (It is certainly not tedious. The film quietly builds the tension and sense of foreboding throughout the final act. That last meal is right up there with the opening scene of Inglourious Basterds for best sequence of the last few years.) film about a bunch of ageing (It's aging, and what the fuck has that to do with anything? Ageist.) cistercian monks caught in the islamist uprising in Algeria in the 1990s. (Well, yes it is. At least that's one thing you'll get right in this review...)
I find it impossible to have any sympathy for any of the characters (Really? What kind of psychopath are you? Their entire life was dedicated to peace and helping those who asked for it. Those bastards, eh?). These 8 christians (There were 9. And I'm the biggest atheist you're likely to meet, and I looked beyond that.),boring (They were interesting enough.), irresponsible (I wouldn't say that at all. They stayed out of a sense of duty to the community that needed them.) and selfish (Yeah. Putting what's best for the community ahead of what was best for their own personal safety. What a selfish bunch of cunts and tossers eh? Actually, no. How did you come up with all this?) out of touch freaks (SPOILER!! Seven men are dead. Please do not call them 'freaks' you ignorant prick) but with a clear conscience ,lucky them, are in my eyes as fanatically dangerous and reprehensible as their muslim extremist'brothers': willing martyrs to religous fanaticism (Yeah. If you're an atheist then please stop being one. It's people like you who give us all a bad name. Become a Scientologist. They're full of, often offensive, nutters like you.) Whether they end up basking in heaven or rotting in hell should not be any concern of mine (SPOILERS AGAIN!! These were real people you're talking about here. Real people who are dead. Show some respect you cunt.) and will leave many unmoved and exasperated. (Actually, the vast majority of the human race have something called 'compassion' and will be very moved by the monks' tale. That's probably why it won all those awards that it won...)
Well, at least he didn't mention the subtitles I suppose... Still, here's another, let's see if we can keep that up with this two-star review:
Based on real like events in Algeria (I'll let you off with that typo. Though I'm a small, petty man, so I'll still point out that you meant 'life'...). Caught the film at our local Film club. (Did you use a butterfly net?)
Michael Lonsdale was as ever, a treat to watch (He was indeed. As were the whole cast.) but he couldn't save the film for me (Well, surely he didn't need to did he? The film was very well made with an engaging, powerful story.) Overall we found the film dreadfully slow (Look. Some films take their time. A faster pace would have ruined the story. With the pace as it is, the film draws you into the lives of these monks and allows the personalities to become evident. Without that there would have been no significance to the end of the film.). From early on, the ending was evident (There are times where knowing the end does not kill the whole film. This is one of those times.). It was all terribly virtuous (It wasn't that virtuous. Certainly not as much as a film about monks could have been.) but there were far too many scenes of the monks simply involved in worship. Yes I know, that's what monks do (So wouldn't it be somewhat ridiculous to expect there to be no worship scenes? Besides, I quite liked the peek into a world I know very little about, and they were very nicely shot too.). I thought that the "Last supper" scene was particuarly mawkish & heavy handed (I don't agree with that either. I, as stated earlier, thought it was a wonderful scene.). Despite the fact that I'm an Atheist, I was hoping for some kind of spiritual enlightenment (From a film? If you want spiritual enlightenment, don't bother with celluloid mate.). I left the film feeling even more convinced of the futility & stupidity of religious belief & the fantacism that all too often accompanies it. (I, again, am a staunch atheist. But I can enjoy a film, regardless of the beliefs of the central characters. I might suggest that you attempt to do something similar in future.)
Oh my God. Will a foreign film pass by without any mention of its foreignicity? Let's have a look at Lovefilm:
I have seen some films that are slow (Oh not this again...). I have seen some films that are very slow but this film.... is....s...l....o...w (Oh how witty. Stick to Bay in future, peasant.). Over two hours of reading French subtitles (Well, it's mentioned but not as negatively as I was expecting...) when no one is saying anything makes for a long night in (Actually they say quite a lot of things...). A true story well told and beautifully acted (Yes it is. Well done on that, I suppose.) but s....l....o....zzzzz (Oh go away. It moves at exactly the right pace. Any quicker and the tension of the story would have been completely destroyed.)
Will that reference be the closest thing we get to a subtitle complaint?:
The most boring film I have ever watched in my entire life (Then you obviously haven't seen that many films then...). Seriously - unless your thing is watching French monks pray and give each other meaningful glances then avoid this like the plague (It's called subtlety, ignoramus. Maybe there should have been a few explosions and racist robots to lighten the mood...). It's an interesting story but my word this is an indulgent piece of nonsense (It is neither of those things. It is millions of miles away from being 'nonsense'. It is a properly beautiful film.). My wife and I ended up watching most of the singing/praying scenes on fast forward and it was still too slow paced (Then you haven't really seen it properly have you? I mean for fuck's sake there aren't that many worship scenes and they don't last that long. The pair of you need to find some patience before you attempt to review anything ever again.). Soul crushingly tedious. (And you're soul crushingly thick.)
Knock me down with a feather. We've got to the end without anyone complaining of subtitles.
I rate this so low as I didn't get to watch it as it was with sub titles. I didn't realise and I can't watch anything with subtitles
 Oh shit.
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