Beyond The Hills Reviews
While both young ladies staying at the convent, Alina is impatient with her friend's Orthodox piousness, and angry with the other nuns and the head priest there, and she acts outs erratically and at times violently. Voichita meanwhile tries to make Alina find her way in God. Both these performances, of almost polar-opposite tones, come in vivid believability. Flutur's wildness is extraordinary to see, but Stratan's emotive restraint is nearly as impressive. The pace of the story builds gradually but never uninterestingly, rich with the Romanian setting and character interactions, making scenes of even apparent mundane tasks compelling (a scene of Voichita getting her friend a document reminded me a lot of a scene in Mungiu's, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, where one the main character tries to register a hotel room for her friend to get an abortion in). It's has a gritty realism that doesn't typically shock (though there is at least one big shock) as much as it gets under the viewer's skin.
Beyond the Hills is not an easy film to watch, particularly in the turn it takes towards the end. I won't say much about it other than it concerns very much how the push and pull conflict of the two protagonists comes to ahead in a sequence of ignorant decisions based on superstition (in addition to the lack of interest of people outside the convent). At the end, there's a shot of somebody's face that will not be easily forgotten. This is a film which rewards patience and appreciation of detail, and though at nearly two and a half hours it is not a slog at all if you let it draw you in. It's not quite at the level of 4 Month, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, but, thanks in large part to the two strong leads and the director's building of their story, it comes quite close.
This is my second Romanian movie in 3 weeks to review in WCA. And both of them were the Oscars sent movie that never made into the final stage. My Romanian movie count is not exceeded to double digit, but I think now I started to like them and hoping to watch many more in the days to come. This movie was less expected by me, well, I was delaying it for some times, eventually finished it with highly satisfied.
From the director of the Golden Globe Nominee movie '4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days' brings the story of two young women who were once abused when in orphanage that led them to bond closely before going their separate ways after leaving the place. One of them returns from working in Germany to win another's heart back who has now found a place in a convent. How the things work out between them, with their new life and the past attachment that affect not only them but entire convent.
If 'Ida' made into the Oscars, I don't know why this one failed to make. Both of them were kind of similar, about the characters who were caught between the faith and emotion. One's true commitment to the faith is tested with the unexpected encounter with the desires. Is the religion too innocence in the modern world? While the human civilisation shifting its phase to the next stage, the 2000 years old belief is struggling to pull together. In that platform this movie was narrated a wonderful story.
"Continuity is essential in our spiritual realm.
You can't stop for a break when you feel like it."
The tale was quite clearly displayed when one has to choose between two, even knowing what the reality is, but fixed with their devoted mind on one. Maybe like coming from the orphanage, knowing all the struggles about life, this is the way they pledged to help the society. In the perspective of hardcore believers, the movie might be a little hurtful, but nothing serious offensive. It was just a movie, and sometimes it was a dark comedy that was not intended, but anyway I had a few good laughs.
I am really happy for the movie, I won't consider it an outcry about religious cruelty. Unlike hospitals that legally runs performances, while a monastery like this raises a few questions within its practice that performed against someone's will. After all it was inspired by the real even that took place in the 2005 and mostly factual than fiction.
This was set in the present time, but most of the movie shot in a convent just outskirt of a city, so gives the feel of the 60s, 70s or earlier to that. Because their lifestyle that disconnects from the rest of the world, including their financial struggle. An ideal location for the story and its title. Shot in two different seasons similar to change in the phase and pace of the tale to the intensified conclusion. I loved everyone's performance. Definitely it is not in the line of 'Spotlight', but you can't ignore where the movie is pointing out on what went wrong. In my opinion, it is a must see and surely suggest it for all, well, mostly adults for its sensitiveness.
Where individuals do scrape a space for themselves you almost wish they hadn't.
What is really mysterious is that the film is riveting.
Go figure, but see the film first.
This is a slow, long film. It's never boring, but it keeps grinding and grinding. The constant development creates a certain feel of the film, and it made me feel angry, glad, anoyed, unfaithful - loads of feelings came to mind. Amazing debut performances from the two leads - so good in fact that they both won prizes in Cannes. A mixture of "The Exorsist", "Of Gods and Men" and the directors last film "4 luni, 3 saptamāni si 2 zile". I loved the directors last one, but this masterpiece is just as good for me. It makes you think a lot, you want to read between the lines and think. I must also praise it for it's very fine cinematography the real culture and deep subjects. It's very long, that may be the only negative thing here, even if it does not feel THAT long.
A film that's provoking, it's testing belives and religion, it's very up for the task of being discussed. I guess ethics and love are in the picture here as well. It's actually based on a true story as well, that amaze me. Woah.
9 out of 10 amandments.
This is one of those films and its nothing short of a masterpiece if one that not for everyones taste.
Alina is an orphan who's very best friend Voichita has joined a remote moanstry and is living a strict religious life under the watchful eye of the head preist and the older nuns.
Alina is short tempered and semmingly troubled by an undisclosed isssue in her past andd she is desperate for her friend to come away with her for a life in Germany.
The trouble starts when Voichita is reluctant to go and Alina blames the preist and nuns for corrupting Voichitas mind.
Alina begins to lose control and the nuns believe she is possesed by the devil which leads to a shocking chain of events .
The secret of the films excellence lies in the acting and direction ,the two female leads are both outstanding and the all of the cast give great performances.
The direction by Cristian Mungui is surefooted and in parts very eerie as we see the nuns actions amidst the raw Romanian winter setting.
The subject od god and an absence of religion is handled with supreme confidence and although the film is long you never become bored with the events as they unfold before you .
A masterpiece of filmaking and one of the best films of 2013