Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chameleon - Krisztina Goda

Caught it on the recent european film fest in Bangalore. (many thanks to a, who got the schedules, and the enthusiasm to catch the fest! )

Totally loved this one. Initialy while reading the summary, I'd not been too hopeful about it. We've all seen enough movies of con men who pretend to be rich to woo/con someone, and how it all goes terribly wrong. Luckily a couple of interesting reviews, and the desire to check out the priyadarshini hall at badami house, got us to the movie.

And I must say movie was a prime example of something I've always believed in - its not what you say, its how you say. Or in this context, its not the story or theme, its how you tell it.

Really slick direction, keeps the pace moving. And the characters are always edgy, shades of gray.  Excellant acting by most of them. The main protagonist, the sidekick, the ballerina, the doctor, the actor.  And you're never quite sure where to slot the people, who's the good guy, who's not. At what stage does do your sympathies slip from the 'helpless' women being conned, to the con artist. And slide to the doctor? Are you then wreched away from him too? How about the unfortunate ballerina? I totally loved the constantly changing equations. As he says somewhere - 'Illusion is expensive. But it's worth it.'

I'd say its a must watch.

ps - a chance scene in the movie, made me wonder about another thing. How do we decide whats funny ? In movies like baby's day out, or home alone, the villains get it rather thickly to say the least. But we can't stop laughing. Its sort of easy , because the demarkation lines are clearly drawn ( good blamless kids vs bad thieves/kidnappers) We know where our sympathies lie. So we laugh when the kidnapper gets it badly you know where.

But flip that scene a little, take a blameless vulnerable kid, about to be beaten up, and we'll all flinch. Again, our sympathies are elsewhere, even though the situation is exactly the same.

So , what happens when the character is neither black nor white? What if, as in this movie, you can't easily take a side? Where exactly does someone's pain, cease to be funny, or begin to be?


crypticrow said...

i saw a clip just now after i read your post. hooked already! i hope i get to watch it somehow someday somewhere. and interesting point you made in the end. so our finding something funny or sad is a result of our social conditioning too isn't it?

Tess said...

hope it comes up somewhere..

good point about the social conditioning, it does contribute to our perceptions. In fact the thought was triggered by the fact that a scene that I didn't find funny, was one at which there were numerous titters in the hall.

I remember flinching a little and then realising that its really hard to give a neat answer on defining funny, in situation where there are no clear black/white characters.