Mary Poppins Returns
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All Critics (13)
| Top Critics (2)
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Unfortunately cryptic but nonetheless fascinating...
The filmmaking could most charitably be described as artless, with a medley of shaky thousand-pixel close-ups providing a sense of detail that doesn't quite extend to the script.
The strain of making it sometimes shows, but [Jirga] is a quite remarkable piece of work all the same.
Jirga is a mesmerising Afghanistan-set drama exploring the consequences of war...
Redemption and forgiveness are the themes of this potent drama in which a man is driven by his conscience...Unforgettable and powerful, this is a unique work with a pulsating heart.
Directed by Benjamin Gilmour (Son of a Lion) Jirga is a little film with a lot to say. Shot on location and making the most of the stark, surreal beauty of its landscapes, Smith's lonely soldier is a study of moral determination driven by inner suffering.
The Afghan landscape is imposingly photographed, as are the faces of the Afghan people, but as a coherent narrative, the film is lacking.
It's a fine film, even without the backstory. Gilmour shows a real empathy with the Afghani non-actors. Their character and traditions are part of the subject, and both are surprising.
Unafraid to let large portions of his brief, yet powerful film play out without much dialogue, Gilmour's film is one of the most bracingly original takes on the mental tolls caused by morally ambiguous wars.
Busting up prejudices against Afghanistan's people is as high as this well-intentioned but morally simplistic white-guilt trip can aim.
Actually shot in Pakistan and Afghanistan, with some performers who themselves are former Taliban, there is an undeniable power to Jirga... But a cursory step back reminds us that Jirga would not pass muster in the court of basic plausibility.
It might not be as polished or meticulous as its contemporaries, but its motives, and the audacious effort to bring them to life, should be congratulated - the eventual DVD release is going to have one hell of a behind-the-scenes featurette.
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