The World Unseen (2008)
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as Mr. Harjan
as De Witt
as Mrs. Harjan
as Sadru's Son
as Sadru's Daughter
Critic Reviews for The World Unseen
No amount of heaving bosom or quivering bottom lip can evoke a romantic frisson if the emotion simply isn't there.
It suffers from an abundance of transparent acting, simplistic plot twists and music that essentially screams, 'These are important scenes to behold!'
Drawing upon her own heritage as a descendant of South Africa's large Indian community, Sarif brings more than a dozen interconnected characters to life.
It doesn't leave you cold, but it doesn't exactly make an impression, either.
Less an account of hatred and injustice in apartheid-torn South Africa than it is a soap opera-ish romance that could easily be an episode of The L-Word.
Never begins to tap the talent at its disposal.
Audience Reviews for The World Unseen
An interesting movie! Set in 1950's South Africa, Miriam and Amina meet, and are instantly intrigued by each other. Miriam is a housewife, and a mother of three children. She abides her husband's every wish, and conforms herself to the upholding of her home. Dealing with her husband's adulterous affair with her sister-in-law, she finds motivation in taking risks and learning to do things on her own. Amina is unmarried, and runs a store with her business partner, Jacob. Carefree and independent, Amina tends to tempt the boundaries of the law. Indifferent to the opinions of others in the Indian community, Amina wishes only to live life the way that she seeks to. The personalities that mark each individual enables, and draws, them together. Great cast- Sheetal Sheth, Lisa Ray, Parvin Dabas, Nandana Sen, Nathalie Becker, David Dennis, Grethe Fox, Colin Moss, and Roderick Priestley. Worthy!
Beautiful directorial debut with great (and stunning!) lead actresses. Unfortunately too concerned with conveying as much of the book as possible, the transition from the great novel to the screen wasn't entirely successful in terms of storytelling. The cinematography and cast is very good, and for a first film this is extremely well done. Overall a heartfelt narrative set in Apartheid South Africa, centered around a tender lesbian romance, but also filled with interesting glimpses into Apartheid realities. I just discovered that "I can't think straight" was actually shot before this, so ignore the part about the debut... Two very good films in a row, kudos to Shamim Sarif.
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