Tuesday, January 27, 2009

"Heaven" (2002) - Movie Review

Despite the lyrical beauty of “Heaven”, the detachment of the reality and mingling of coincidence and an unrealistic actions of characters makes it hard to reach. A film which clearly is an experiment in mesmerizing the audience by the splendid cinematography of Frank Griebe with a script from Krzysztof Kieślowski and Krzysztof Piesiewicz, the two men who wrote the Three Colours trilogy and the young director Tom Tykwer making it can only be sighed as tough luck from the view of this small mind.

An English woman Philippa (Cate Blanchett) wants to a kill a corporate owner (Stefano Santospago) of an Electronics company who is also a drug trafficker. Her bomb goes haywire killing four innocent people leaving the actual target flutter free. This happens in the beautiful Italy and she is immediately arrested by the police. There an young man Fillippo (Giovanni Ribisi) becomes an interpreter for Philippa who adamants on confessing in English to the Italian Policemen. There she is realized with her plan gone wrong in worst way possible and she collapses when in the faint moment holds the hand of Filippo who becomes drawn in to this woman and strangely falls in love unconditionally with no reason.

The following events makes no sense other than an immaculately planned act of escape and assisting in revenge for Philippa from Filippo followed by a cross country travel to the place Philippa grew up. What makes sense though is Philippa’s wave of understanding towards this young boy who helps her. She does not question him but I guess whoever willing to help in a locked up situation are not questioned much from the people. Still Philippa never asks Filippo why he is doing all this even after the escape. She some how begins to empathize Filippo whose age and eyes reflect nothing but an infatuation or the film calls it love.

Yet for any other film which attempts on this suicidal script would have encountered the wrath of fury from me even if it had the visual as “Heaven” has but I was kept in a place where the confusion and clarity interlaced. As with the characters acting in a clear sought of thinking on this delusional script, the film appealed in that dimension of the space and time in the mind I could not explain. I liked it but my rationality constantly pinched me from this stubborn dream. It is a tedious process.

Tom Tykwer’s later film “Perfume: The Story of a Murderer” carries the similar sense of photography (of course from Frank Giebe again) and interweaves the poetry and insanity of a man obsessed and passionate which could only been seen over that thin line of dangerous attachments to one’s instincts. That annoyed many of the film goers which is a great poetical film for me. It had the folk, fairy dark tale with a metaphor of the life forgotten in smell. “Heaven” appeals in those manner but the reality of the story snatches it away not allowing us to step inside the story book.

While Filippo is projected as a young man with a plan and action, his reasoning never comes out even to his father (Remo Girone). His father while visiting both the fugitives seem to understand his action and does not even react with anger, sadness or pain. He simply tries to get him to come along with him knowing the answer very well. He cries uncontrollably while hugging him of separation but still confuses me how does Filippo get by without a slap from him whereas Philippa’s friend (Stefania Roca) does a fair justice to her friend’s acts.

If the story happened in times when helicopter and guns and trains were not invented then there would have been a greater concentration on the subtleties of the people in it even if their actions are far from reality. It would have made out in to a film of fantasy with an emotion applying only to the face of the cinema than any other medium. The pictures would have become the punctuation for the strange lyrics of two people understanding in terms of what director and script wants without the audience complaining about it. In that we would have admired it while here they become empty puppets.

No comments: