Paradise (Ray) (2017)
Critic Consensus: Paradise hits hard and lingers, although viewers who've seen a number of other Holocaust-set dramas may find it all a bit familiar.
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Critic Reviews for Paradise (Ray)
Black-and-white cinematography and minimalist sound design contribute to the bleak, austere tone, which befits the theme of survival in a morally bankrupt world.
Konchalovskiy presents this grimly contemplative tale appropriately in black and white, drawing powerful performances from all three principals, especially Yuliya Vysotskaya as Olga.
"Paradise" and its predictable waltz of suffering, choked consciousness and monstrosity adds little to the problematic subset of camp-themed World War II movies, which feel like nostalgia for hell.
A strikingly shot Holocaust drama that ultimately seems confused about whose story it's telling or to what end.
... strong performances and outstanding cinematography aren't enough to rescue an unfocused and episodic screenplay, which will leave many stranded in a purgatorial cinematic-halfway house between bliss and despair.
Audience Reviews for Paradise (Ray)
I saw this at the Cleveland International Film Festival 2016. This Russian/German produced Holocaust film has a unique format in that the three main characters tell their versions of the story through interrogations in a very nondescript room. These are intercut with flashbacks showing what life was like before WWII hit and mainly what life was like for the resistance fighter Olga in a particular concentration camp. Like Casablanca and so many other WWII dramas there are several SS officers and guards as well as French collaborators. The period detail and black and white cinematography that really helps set the scene are both so well done. The performers are nuanced and the characters are three dimensional.
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