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The Carletonian

    This Week at SUMO


    Because of a change in schedule, Murderball is showing this week in place of Network. A good thing, since I didn’t really like Network all that much, and I’m hearing great things about Murderball. This means that I haven’t seen Murderball yet. I can’t really tell you what I think about it, but I can say that it got a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and the critic’s comments are all praise. The documentary tells the story of the game of full contact rugby, played by parapalegics, and one team’s fight to the Paralympic games in Athens. One critic claimed Murderball is one of the best sports movies of all time. I think it’s going to be good.

    A Very Long Engagement:

    A Very Long Engagement would be a really unfortunate title for a sub-par film, so it’s a good thing for everyone involved (especially you and me) that Jeunot’s film feels like anything but a time commitment.

    The film covers the scope of World War One and its aftermath effectively and powerfully in it’s two-hour runtime.Mathilde (Audrey Tatou) searches for her fiancé, though he has been missing since WWI. Her search unravels the intertwined stories of five men who are sentenced to being cast out into no man’s land between the French and German trenches, a certain death. The crime: each condemned man mutilated his hand, accidently, or out of frustration, in fear, hoping that he would be sent home.

    The mystery of what has happened to Manech (Mathilde’s love) looms over the film, but it is not only a serious, deep, intense, profound war drama. Tatou’s Mathilde is sweet and charming; she lightens the story, making it all the more likeable. The film is shot brilliantly, even the violent war scenes are breathtakingly beautiful. Jeunot (who also made Amelie) adds in a few of his signature surreal cuts, but they work to reveal the psychological impacts of the war upon Manech and the other wounded, shell-shocked men. The entire film feels like another world because it is so beautiful.

    I wished that the film had been longer, then Jeunot could have taken more time in introducing the five men, and in unwrapping the final plot twist. It was somewhat difficult to keep each man and his story straight (not entirely helped by the fact that the film is subtitled). This isn’t too much of a fault; as soon as the credits rolled I wanted to watch the movie again anyway.

    Go see this movie if you’re a romantic, a history buff, an amateur psychologist, a mystery lover – go see the film at SUMO if you like a good story. Or if you want to see Jodie Foster speak really good French.

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