Yes [NTSC/REGION 1 & 4 DVD. Import-Latin America]
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Sinopsis cuenta la historia de un romance apasionado entre una mujer de origen irlandés, educada en los Estados Unidos y un musulmán proveniente de Líbano. Ella, una mujer atrapada en un matrimonio infeliz y corrompido, él un inmigrante que vive el rechazo, la discriminación y la soledad, se envuelven en una relación de amor prohibido. La relación ilícita, los conflictos de lenguaje, culturales, religiosos y políticos son los que llevarán a los personajes a cuestionar y reflexionar sobre sus propias contradicciones.
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"Sally Potter's "Yes" is a movie unlike any other I have seen or heard. Some critics have treated it as ill-behaved, as if its originality is offensive. Potter's sin has been to make a movie that is artistically mannered and overtly political..."
This is a love story between "She," an elegant Irish-American woman (Joan Allen) in a loveless marriage and "He," a Lebanese ex-pat (Simon Abkarian) working as a waiter. It is written in a modern English version of iambic pentameter, the rhythm scheme of Shakespeare. That, alone, is marvelous to experience. Their relationship becomes complexly rich ~ torrid, exploratory, then reality reigns with cultural, political and moral divides - but, does reality sometimes have a happy ending?
It has become one of my all time TOP TEN movies.
She (Joan Allen) is a research scientist, married to an icy politician, Anthony (Sam Neill), who only seems to find any sort of emotional release in the blues. When we first meet them, they're off to a dinner party, all very formal, and he warns her not to make a scene. Once there, She wanders into the dining room, where a very elegant mideastern man in a tuxedo (Simon Abkarian) has a passing conversation with her.
It's clear enough that they are both interested in each other, enough to where She hands Him her business card on the stairs. A phone call, a meeting, and soon, enough, the interest and conversation soon lands them both in bed together. It's a slow, tumultuous affair, lasting from spring blossoms, to the Christmas season.
Others, from His co-workers in the restaurant where he is a chef, and Her family and friends, suspect that something is up, but no one can quite put a finger on it. His coworkers engage in the nature of God and religion and of course, women, over dirty pots and dishes, and she goes running and out and about with her sister Kate (Samantha Bond) and her niece.
Her world is the sparse, sterile one of the London flat, all whites and bare walls, crisp white couches and linens, while His is full of colour and textures. And She, under his careful touch and words, slowly begins to bloom.
But things start to unravel, first for Him, when an argument with a fellow employee results in a drawn knife, and for Her, when her husband can't even summon up the guts to engage in an verbal fight with her. And that animosity expands to the He and She, with her being drawn away to a death in her birthplace of Belfast, and he runs to his homeland of Beruit.
No, not everyone is going to like this one. The themes are very adult, it's mostly a plotless film about two people who find each other, lose one another and then come again full circle. Everyone in this one are extremely lonely, each one existing in their own little microcosm, and rarely can see beyond themselves if at all.
In fact, the only ones who seem to get what things are really about are the various charwomen in the film, especially the one who cleans She and Anthony's immaculatte London flat (Shirley Henderson), who whispers up commentary and secrets as she gazes directly at the viewer. All of the cleaning women in this film, who silently push about their brooms and mops and brushes, seem to be saying can you believe these fools?
And frankly, that's where the film starts to disintegrate. While it's composed of beautiful cinematography and images, the dialogue is of rather insipid poetry -- nice, but rarely inspiring -- there are times when it is delivered in such muddled sound that I had to really crank up the volume to hear, or just guess at what was being said.
That's a big problem. Too, there isn't a plot beyond of He and She's encounters, and the unraveling of their lives until they have to make choices. Sadly, the film only has subtitles in French, so I couldn't even resort to using the subtitles to figure out the story. Another problem was that I was left wondering if the story was about discrimmination and the question of terrorism through His eyes, or her general alienation to everything for Her. Secondary characters appear, give soloquies, then vanish into the background, and don't do much except to spread more confusion in their wake.
Sadly, there really ought to be more on the DVD to help the viewer along. The only audio track is in English, and the only subtitles are in French; there is a photo gallery of images in the film, and a little featurette on the making of the pivotal scene in the film, where the relationship shatters in the face of reality. Nice, but there could have been much more, what with the level of DVD technology these days.
Sally Potter both directed and wrote the script for this one, and while I really admire her courage in seeing her vision through to the end, it's a murky one at best, and a snoozer at worst. Not for everyone, but if you have the patience to sit through it to the end, you might find it an interesting 'slice of life' film.
Recommended, with three and half stars rounded up to four.
As I watched this film, it spoke to My deepest soul. I could feel almost a veiling effect of the issues that face each man and woman, each race, each country, each struggle within each individual. The veils lifting as each scene, dialogue and exchange occurred. Metaphorically, the characters SHE and HE represent so many aspects of all relationships we as humans hold, even the ones we hold in collective consciousness and from conditioned cultural or spiritual thought. This movie is a very deep look into the human soul, with subjects such as compassion, understanding, superficiality, listening and not hearing, healing, bonds, the ties of our own personal history, cultural identity, inner struggles with archetypes... It is a subtle way of making you think as you observe with the effects lasting many days after the viewing. I especially enjoyed the way the writer/director had THOUGHTS coming as dialogue instead of spoken words.
How many times are we thinking something and not saying out loud for fear of rejection, fear of our own guilt or shame? There were so many beautiful and profound scenes in this brilliant film it is difficult to speak of each of them separately. Also included is a featurette which shows the writer/director in intimate dialogue with the two lead actors just as we went to war ON Iraq... making the scene they refer to so much more important.
This film is a perfect example of the direction we as humans need to move into - a deeper understanding and observation of our actions and thoughts and the profound cause and effect they have on the world, not just our world.
I highly recommend this film to anyone who believes in quantum physics, who is interested in human anthropology, different cultures and their beliefs, the differences and similarities in religious thought and practice, the relationships between humankind and men and women, in families and the understanding of what we know as God or the creator, and finally of "WE". After all, We are all one... We are all human, sharing this period of time and space for a reason. Let's think about our actions, our motives, our unspoken fears and attitudes... This is a very moving and healing film because it opens our hearts and our eyes to be able to GROW and with growth comes profound change, and that is what we need to save the world from the direction it is currently heading.
This film seems to say Let's LOVE and say YES to that love, and thereby to life! Bravo!!!!!!!!!
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But no - they weren't there.