Ralph Breaks the Internet
Mission: Impossible - Fallout
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All Critics (9)
| Top Critics (2)
| Fresh (8)
| Rotten (1)
A commendable addition to the growing number of films centered on children in post-9/11 Islamic societies.
Imperfect but timely drama that puts a human face on a frequently demonized people.
Father and son face a cultural divide in Pakistan.
Because of Gilmour's empathy with his collaborators and their lives, it makes you feel right at home.
The film's credibility is in its simple and solid moral sentiments, echoed constantly throughout the bulletproof script.
Films take a gamble when they take you out of your zone of familiarity -- as this one does.
As a work of art, it's a transparent con, particularly when Gilmour defensively insists on the 'humanity' of his characters for the benefit of the Western viewer.
It's a remarkable film and the melancholy face of the little boy in whose journey we partake, remains as a window of hope.
An elegantly simple story and the telling is effective, magnified by a great sense of place that is part of the film's appeal.
Shot in a relative secrecy in an area of Pakistan normally off limits to foreigners, Son of a Lion is a product of risky querrila filmmaking.
Niaz is a young Pashtun boy whose father, Sher Alam, was a proud fighter in the Mujahidin insurgency against the Soviets and now works as a gunsmith. Although Niaz cannot read nor write at 11 years old, Sher Alam refuses to let him attend school--rather, he is determined that Niaz shall learn the family trade. Consequently, Niaz looks for role models among the more educated and artistic of his elders, much to his father's disapproval.
Son of a Lion isn't immediately accessible. It's use of untrained actors and production values that are necessarily low-fi can be distracting and the main story is not compelling. It's only some way into the film that its gentle humurous qualities are revealed and the people and culture are rendered sympathetically.
Again, due to restrictive shooting conditions, there is a distinct lack of female characters. This omittance leaves the film with an unbalanced aesthetic, with the masculine lean of the film enhanced by the craggy lanscape.
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