John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum
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Quiet power. How the strength of genuine humility to mold one man's character from a life born in devastation of Vietnam. How love and hope can heal the most broken of circumstances.
A devastating journey full of determination.
As Hans Petter Moland finally won his Silver Berlin Bear for "Out Stealing Horses" I decided to celebrate with a film of his that remained unknown for me for a long time. It's no apperent reason for it, this film even has the mighty Terrence Malick listed as one of the producers.
"The Beautiful Country" is mainly about "Binh". He get's out of a city in Vietnam to find his mother in Saigon. From there he flees again, leaving his mother but bringing his much younger brother. They ends up in Malaysia, in a detention camp. Here he meets the lovely "Ling" and together they get out for the true destination - the USA.
Here a new life starts, but "Binh" is not at the end of his mission just yet. He is looking for his father, that left him and his mom after the war and now he wants answers.
This is a very enjoyable ride. It's never boring and the characters never stay for too long at the same place - it's constantly moving. The pace is excellent and the cast is really good. Nick Nolte is the biggest name, but he does not get much time on screen. Bai Ling looks like she is twenty - and still does really, and is probably doing one of her best parts here. I'm just guessing since I haven't seen much of her other work, but she usually does roles in pretty weak films. The best actor here is still the lead, portrayed by the very unknown Damien Nguyen, that only did two movies in total.
This is a pretty gentle film, I believe it's rated for audiences above twelve years old. It works just fine, even if it won't suit most of the younger audiences tastes.
I feared this would be a somewhat flat film but it certainly weren't. It's a drama, an exciting one. It builds up so greatly and the ending is also the great and very rewarding climax. An underrated film, from one of the best Norwegian directors. Now he's finally getting some shine outside the country and that is well deserved.
7.5 out of 10 cans of green paint.
A little known Terrence Malick produced drama, The Beautiful Country is
a quietly touching study of finding oneself in this great big world and
a globe spanning journey for a likable and caring young man who was
shunned by his countryman through his hard and unforgiving upbringing.
Dealing with the not well known facet of Vietnamese lifestyle, where
those children born to both Vietnamese and American parents are treated
as outcasts, Norwegian director Hans Petter Moland handles the tricky
subject matter with aplomb and whether his camera roams the countryside
of Vietnam, the refugee camps of Malaysia or the American landscape,
The Beautiful Country is most certainly a handsomely crafted tale that
shuns its low end budget to create a film that feels both lavish and
grand in the non-traditional sense.
Throughout almost every scene in this tale is Binh, who after years of
wondering decides to set off to not only meet his natural Vietnamese
mother but find his G.I American father. Played by then newcomer Damien
Nguyen (who in the time since this film has virtually disappeared from
the acting scene), Binh is a likable character and is just one of many
colourful and realistic characters that create a vibrancy and realism
in The Beautiful Country that makes it really something special.
Throughout Binh's journey to the lands of America he meets his loving
mother, Bai Ling's confused yet kind hearted Ling, Tim Roth's people
smuggling boat captain Oh and undoubtedly most importantly Nick Nolte's
one time G.I Steve, who Nolte plays with great power. Each of these
characters whether on screen for extended periods or brief periods are
well designed and constructed and each performer gives it theie all
with Bai Ling in particular delivering what could well be her best ever
It's not hard to see why a visionary like Malick put his name to such a
heartfelt piece of movie making and while The Beautiful Country
stumbles in certain areas and at times feels hampered by its production
constraints, there's still a touching tale that shines uttermost
throughout. It's a shame more have not seen this journey and a shame
also that director Moland has not found this vision again in his more
recent career but we can be thankful that The Beautiful Country is here
for us now to watch and appreciate.
4 angry Jango Fett's out of 5
The Beautiful Country is a very touching film about the hardship of a half American boy in Vietnam and his lonely existence as an outsider everywhere, both in his own country and culture, which reject him, and as a foreigner in America. The terribly difficult trip to America and suffering along the way remind us what our own ancestors went through--the immigrant experience and the lack of acceptance, the grief of the passing of those who die on the journey,and the hard work here that is much the same as the hard work back home. It is a beautiful film that follows Binh's pilgrimage to find acceptance and a home, and well worth seeing.
Damien Nguyen does a really fantastic job in the main role.
An amazing story that's told well. Binh's journey is tragic and emotional. This movie has a bittersweet ending. I can only watch this movie every couple years as it really shakes me up and makes me appreciate how easy my life is.
A very good movie! Quality film, great sets, great scenery, good acting, good story, just a good movie all around.
Post Vietnam war - A mixed-race young man travels to find his father in America after being discriminated against in his own country for not being full Vietnamese. The harshness of his life feels painfully real - this one is for adults.