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This is a film by a true master of moviemaking craft, who refuses to spell things out or bludgeon the audience with a message. The story builds almost imperceptibly, with an accumulation of details, striking visual imagery, and a haunting soundtrack, in which classical piano, African music, and silence are all used to powerful effect. A tantalizing erotic undercurrent bubbles to the surface as the narrative takes the story in directions both unpredictable and captivating. --Laura Mirsky
Top Customer Reviews
This emotionally involving film stars Thandie Newton as Shandurai, a young woman forced to leave South Africa for Rome after her husband, a school teacher, is arrested by the Military Police, then summarily held in prison-- and without a trial-- indefinitely (His crime is never precisely indicated, though it is implied during a classroom scene at the very beginning of the film). In Rome, Shandurai attends medical school, while supporting herself by working as a housekeeper for a man named Mr. Kinsky (David Thewlis), a reclusive pianist, apparently fairly well-to-do, who gives piano lessons to children in his home.
Early on in the film it is evident that Mr. Kinsky looks upon Shandurai as something more than merely a housekeeper; he is obviously quite taken with her. The moral implications of the situation are readily apparent, of course, as is the position in which it will predictably place Shandurai at some point in the near future. There is little doubt as to the direction the story is taking; the question that remains, however, is how Shandurai will deal with her impending dilemma.
The story becomes even more engaging as matters are pressed and circumstances develop which make Shandurai's conundrum even more of a moral miasma.Read more ›
Kinsky's besiegement is, as mentioned above, his emotional isolation. He keeps himself inside his house and is rarely seen venturing outside. Only after he professes his passion for his housekeeper and realizes that he must do more than verbalize his feelings does he break the confines of his physical surroundings and leave the barriers he has besieged himself with.
Kinsky, a composer and pianist, is initially seen playing standard Western classical music, but as he becomes more enamored with Shandurai, the rhythms of her African music begin to influence his own compositions. In a beautiful scene, a session at his piano begins with a simple two-note structure and ultimately results in a piece that fervently echoes the hypnotic, percussive feel of the songs she listens to on her cassette player in her downstairs apartment.
Kinsky's intensity throughout, paralleled with Shandurai's combined intelligence and semi-bewilderment are what gives this work its resonance. This is a truly memorable film, one worth seeing repeatedly.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I wasn't that impressed with this film other than that I did admire the spiritual side of in where god answers prayers!Published 3 months ago by joanette
Parts of the movie I did not understand what the actors were saying............. a bit confusing but I did enjoy Thandie Newton's role in the movie.Published on November 30, 2013 by Pat Williams
one of my alltime favorites where movies are concerned. well played by daniel thelewis and thandie newton. the end leaves you wanting to know what happens next. love it.Published on November 22, 2013 by sharlopunch
A surprising finish and authentic characters make me glad I took a friend's suggestion!! Thats all i have to say.Published on July 7, 2013 by Agnes R.
THIS IS A VERY GOOD LITERARY REPRESENTATION OF BLUES, BY THE LYRIC POET. WHAT THE POET LYRIC SINGS ABOUT IN LYRIC THE FILM MAKER PRESENTS IN VISUALS WITH SPOKEN WORD.Published on June 3, 2013 by Delridge L. Hunter
A nice movie to watch. I really felt bad for Mr. Kinsky( he seemed so lonely and without friends) I know it was just a story or movie, but at least they finally had a... Read morePublished on May 12, 2013 by Emily V. Worrell
The description on the package was more informative than the movie itself. The movie was lacking in storyline, dialogue and quality of film. Read morePublished on February 13, 2013 by Tonie
This is such a romantic movie in a very unconventional sense. I love it and can watch it over and over. It's fascinating inspite of the fact that there isn't much dialogue. Read morePublished on February 6, 2013 by Sade
This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The dialog could be condensed into 6 minutes. Shandurai flees Africa and somehow ends up in medical school. Read morePublished on November 25, 2012 by R. Jacobson