What we did on our holiday (2014)

Este august. Cine nu a plecat pana acum in concediu, va pleca foarte curand. Deja orasul incepe sa fie mai calm si mai gol. Imi place perioada asta. Multa lume pleaca, sunt mai putine masini in parcare, strazile Bucurestiului sunt mai putin aglomerate… Mai dificil este pentru cine nu a plecat inca, caci abia asteapta sa o faca si nu prea mai are rabdare sa rezolve problemele de zi cu zi.

Fiind sezonul concediilor, m-am gandit ca ar fi potrivit sa scriu despre un film cu tematica de vacanta. Am ales acest film datorita distributiei (multi actori cunoscuti si buni), ca este un film britanic (cinematografia britanica fiind preferata mea) si pentru ca l-am gasit incadrat la genul “comedie”.

FIlmul este despre doi frati, ambii insurati si cu copii, care isi aduna familiile la un loc pentru ziua de nastere a tatalui lor, bolnav de cancer in faza terminala. Ambii vor ca aceasta vacanta sa fie frumoasa pentru tatal lor, insa problemele din familiile fiecaruia ies la iveala, creand certuri si discutii continue, la care se adauga moartea tatalui lor, moment in care toti sunt fortati sa fie mai putin preocupati de ei insisi si sa fie mai atenti la ceilalti si la problemele lor.

Povestea este putin cam dezechilibrat prezentata, pentru ca la inceput pare ca filmul este despre unul dintre frati, familia si problemele lor (in principal cauzate de faptul ca si-a inselat sotia) ocupand centrul atentiei un timp destul de indelungat cat sa ne faca sa credem ca ei sunt personajele principale. Apoi intra in scena al doilea frate si familia lui, dar pentru scurt timp, chiar daca si aici sunt probleme si nu tocmai simple. Tot aici locuieste tatal celor doi, pentru care cei doi frati organizeaza o mare petrecere de aniversare.

Tatal este bolnav de cancer in faza terminala, iar apropierea finalului il ajuta sa inteleaga foarte bine importanta reala a diferitelor aspecte ale vietii. Nepotii lui sunt afectati de certurile continue dintre parinti, iar fiii lui sunt stresati de organizarea petrecerii si de dificultatile pe care le au in relatiile cu sotiile lor, asa ca tatal isi propune sa-si petreaca cea mai mare parte a zilei lui de nastere departe de toata harmalaia, isi ia nepotii si pleaca la malul marii.

Scenele de la malul marii sunt frumoase, dialogul dintre bunic si nepoti este savuros, peisajele sunt splendide. Insa scenele par un pic prea lungi.

Pe plaja bunicul moare, iar copiii incearca sa ii acorde o inmormantare in stil viking, punandu-l pe o pluta si dandu-i foc in timp ce pluteste pe apa, asa cum spusese el ca I-ar placea. Adultii afla de moartea tatalui lor abia cand copiii se intorc singuri acasa. Bineinteles ca totul o ia razna. Povestea introduce elemente noi, putin cam inutile, cum ar fi mediatizarea cazului, ancheta unei asistente sociale, posibiliatea luarii in plasament a celor trei copii ai fratelui adulter, politisti care nu pot face mare lucru pentru a gasi trupul bunicului… E un amalgam de elemente care este adaugat deja existentului haos din familie…

Desigur ca finalul trebuie sa fie unul fericit, in care toti se impaca si fac o intelegere sa nu mai fie rai unii cu altii, insa din nou, accentul este pus puternic pe fratele care si-a inselat sotia. Intre cei doi sunt aratate anumite semne care indica impacarea lor, insa in final, ei decid doar sa divorteze civilizat, apoi se joaca fericiti impreuna cu copiii lor in mare.. Problemele celuilalt frate raman cumva in aer, desi ni se sugereaza ca va fi totul bine.

Exista din nou o greseala de accentuare, scena cand toti isi iau ramas bun simbolic de la tatal decedat este foarte scurta, subtire, neconvingatoare.

Scenariul salveaza putin filmul, existand o multitudine de replici amuzante, mai ales intre bunic si copii, iar momentele in care fiul fratelui bogat vine senin si intreaba daca s-a intamplat ceva, el fiind preocupat cu o noua iubita, sunt haioase prin contrastul dintre stresul celor implicati si detasarea cu care el intreaba daca s-a intamplat ceva.

Povestea de la care porneste filmul este una buna, plina de potential pentru un film de calitate, insa pacat ca rezultatul final nu este pe masura potentialului. Si distributia avea un potential urias, vorbim de Billy Connolly, Rosamund Pike, David Tennat, Ben Miller, toti actori foarte buni care puteau ridica mult calitatea filmului, insa felul in care a fost conceput scenariul, destul de imbarligat si dezechilibrat, le ingradeste enorm posibilitatea de a ajuta interpretarea.

Scenariul putea merge pe firul evolutiei sufletesti a personajelor confruntate cu moartea tatalui, dar desi pare a se fi dorit asta, nu s-a reusit. Faptul ca se adauga elemente ale reactiei publice la vestea felului in care copiii au indeplinit dorinta bunicului nu salveaza calitatea filmului, caci scenele sunt, din nou, scurte, cumva superficiale, neconvingatoare.

Ca o concluzie, este un film placut, usor, care atinge cateva probleme din societatea de astazi, dar nu se ocupa de ele, nici prin critica, nici prin oferirea unor lectii, dar cu nelipsita concluzie ca “asa nu e bine si trebuie sa va intelegeti, ca sunteti o familie”, astfel incat nu reuseste decat sa zgarie suprafata unei povesti despre care poate ar fi bine sa vorbim mai mult. In acelasi timp, mai arata si ca neintelegerile dintre parinti ii afecteaza pe copii, dar, iarasi, nu “vorbeste” despre treaba asta, ci doar o afirma.

Un film bun pentru o seara usoara, fara sa ceara prea mult de la noi.

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It’s August. Those who have not yet gone on holiday, will leave soon. The city is already more quiet and empty. I like this time of the year. Many people are out of town, there are fewer cars in the car park, the streets of Bucharest are less crowded… Things get more difficult for those who have not left yet because they can’t wait for to get away and they run out of patience with handling the day-to-day problems.

Since it is the summer holiday season, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about a film that’s vacation-themed. I chose this one because of the cast (many well-known and good actors), it’s an English film (British cinema is my favourite) and because I found it in the “comedy” section.

The film is about two brothers, both of them married and with children, who bring their families together to celebrate their father’s birthday. Both brothers want the family gathering to be a beautiful one for their father’s sake, but each of their problems come out and cause endless arguments. Their father’s death is a moment that forces them to be less preoccupied with themselves and pay more attention to the others and their issues.

The story is a bit incorrectly presented because at the beginning, the family of one of the brothers is presented. This part is long enough to make us believe that the movie is about them and their problems (mainly caused by the fact that he cheated on his wife). Then the other brother and his family are being presented, but only for a little while, even if they have problems as well. In the same house lives the brothers’ father, for which the brothers are planning a party.

The father has cancer and is terminally ill. The nearing end makes him understand what truly counts in life. His grandchildren are affected by the never ending string of arguments between their parents and his sons are stressing out about the party and the difficulties they have with their wives, so the father decides to spend most of his birthday at the beach, away from all the chaos, he takes his grandchildren and goes to the sea side.

The scenes at the beach are beautiful, the dialogue between the children and the father are great and the scenery is wonderful. But this part of the movie is a bit too long.

At the beach, the father dies and the children try to give him the viking funeral he wanted. The adults learn of the father’s death when the kids come home on their own. Of course everything goes nuts. But the story gets new elements: the media that discusses the case, the inquiery of a social worker, the possibility of one brother loosing his children, policemen that cannot do much to find the father’s body… Another amount of elements pilled on top of an already chaotic story…

Of course there’s a happy end and everybody forgives everyone and they make a deal to treat each other nice. Once again, the accent of the story falls on the brother who cheated on his wife. He and his wife share small gestures indicating a rekindling of their relationship, but in the end they only decide to get a civilized divorce. Then they pay happily with their children in the sea… The problems of the other brother are not shown to be resolved, but we’re hinted that everything will be alright.

The scene in which they all symbolically say “goodbye” to the father is short and somehow unconvincing.

The script saves the film little, boasting many funny lines, especially between the grandfather and the children and the moments in which the son of the wealthy brother comes to ask if anything had happened after being preoccupied with his new girlfriend are hilarious due to the contrast between everyone’s stress and his relaxed mood.

The story of the film is a very good one that gives a huge potential for a very good quality movie, but, unfortunately, the outcome is not as good. The cast also had a good potential: Billy Connolly, Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Ben Miller. All of them great actor who could have easily elevated the level of quality of the film. It’s a pity that the script was written in such way that it takes away from the actors the possibility of improvising and making everything better.

The script could have explored the feelings of the adults when suddenly confronted with the father’s death and even though that seems to have been the point, it just didn’t have the desired effect. Making the case public and involving the children doesn’t help with anything because the scenes are once again short, shallow and unconvincing.

To sum up, it is a nice film, that touches on a few problems of the current society, but doesn’t deal with them because it doesn’t criticise them, not does it offer lessons to be learnt, apart from the undying observation that “this is not right and you have to be nice to each other because you’re family”. Thus, it only scratched the surface of some really difficult stories that should be in our focus more. The film also “states” that arguments between parents affect children, but once more, it doesn’t address it.

A nice film appropriate for a light night.

  • Regia si scenariul / Written and directed by: Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin
  • Distributia / Cast: Billy Connolly, Rosamund Pike, David Tennant, Ben Miller, Amelia Bullmore, Celia Imrie, Annette Crosbie
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