Da 5 Bloods
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I May Destroy You
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Quebec cinema is still alive and kicking. Though it is not entirely quebecker as we know it today, the production did take place in Quebec and was directed by the reasonably well known man in the business - Michel Poulette.
The movie has been in production for several years and one can tell that it was carefully crafted before its release. No unnecessary scenes. Everything contributes to the character development. The premonition in the beginning hints that it would be a coming-of-age story of the brave Innu teenager embarking onto a great journey. However, I would not categorize the movie as "coming-of-age". The story development leaves the viewer guessing every time the major event happens. There are no shocking outcomes to any of those events, but at the same time it is never dull and always keeps the interest going. The main reason I really enjoyed this film is the fact that it never really gets boring. I have seen a lot of movies describing the lives of racial minorities in the past and the present. Most common problem is that they try so hard to represent the "odd" traditions or rituals, that it gets annoying after certain period of time. "Maina" never makes that mistake. The Innu and Innuit routine presented in this film never feels forced upon the viewer and draws interesting similarities and contrasts between "us" and "them".
Moreover, it is important to note that the movie never develops a story-long villain that the main character must overcome. Despite the fact that many times the viewer gets an impression that a certain character will develop into a villain, the film takes off that focus right away. Therefore, the film itself describes an adventurous journey of Maina in many different settings under many different circumstances. The main challenge of Maina is that journey.
I have to note phenomenal works in sound and casting. The sound did not fall short of any major American or European production. The casting has definitely given distinct faces to the characters that were portrayed in the book only by their words and actions.
The work that will not go unmentioned by anyone reviewing this film would be the camera. We can all agree that the wide shots in this movie were absolutely stunning and it has also served us as a good reminder of how beautiful the unseen-by-many Quebec is.
Cinematography, the choice of colors and setting were chosen safely. It reminded me of the Russian film "Mongol", even though "Mongol" was more of a dramatic and warrior journey.
Overall, I have to say that despite the simplicity of the story, it is not an "ordinary-Joe" film and is well worth seeing in the theaters. Even if it means paying a constantly increasing cinema ticket fee. Great effort by Michel Poulette, who managed to capture the pre-invasion era of the First Nation people in North America and present Maina's adventure into the unknown.
Last, but not least, my usual pet peeve, the ending. A movie can lose a lot in my rating if the last scene was not satisfactory according to me. However, this was not the case. I absolutely loved the last scene, so koodos for that too!
A warm and thought-provoking film about living a life in the far north, about acceptance, love and being different. The nature was spectacular and the acting superb. It also gave an insight into the life of the two tribes, their beliefs, everyday life, customs and traditions.