Movie Review – Paradise Now

Posted: March 1, 2014 in Movie Reviews
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On a day when I was watching a string of world movies “Paradise Now” was the last one and the one which was what you normally associate with “World Movie.”  It’s a story about two suicide bombers living their last days. Nothing of which was glorified like Viswaroopam. Not even to the level of Terrorist. Even there are no close up shots like how you generally associate with a melancholic movie. So what we see is what we get. Nothing more nothing less.


Having never seen a Palestine movie before I wasn’t sure how it’d be. But one thing I was sure was it wouldn’t be like Iranian movies. The place that we are in actually defines us. When you are surrounded by books you tend to open them and check, similarly when you have guns around you, you check them out as well. That’s why I was sure that this movie would deal with war, bombings etc.

Even though my thought process took the correct precedence it wasn’t necessary to know about Palestine-Iraq war to know what’s happening. Because the movie is less political and more humane. There are many scenes that I’d like to point out but there was a scene where people just walk in Nablus with guards, burned out cars surrounding them. They here a bomb sound. All they do is dunk for a second and continue with their activity. For them hearing the bomb go alive is part of life. Similarly Said says that he has got a job and couldn’t travel the night, his mother blames about the road blockage like how our mothers blame the vendors for selling vegetables for high prices. And when Said is taken to their hideout place they walk through a lot of rumblings but hardly notice the broken building that they walk past because it’s the part of their daily routine.

Even though the most of the scenes in the movie looked real I was in a doubt whether it was shot on location. Few movies which I thought to have shot on location seemed to have been made elsewhere, so I was skeptical. But to my horror the movie seemed to have shot entirely on location and the director Hany Abu-Assad is candid enough to say that he’d never go to that length again to shoot a movie if given a chance. Well, what you’d expect a person to say if he has seen an explosion happen just 300 meters from him place.

Even though Said and Khaled are best friends. Said is saner than him. He is careful enough to not let the woman he loves get intimate to him, starts feeling sad when he is about to die and loses interest in life before his death. Khaled on the other hand is so happy that he’s going to die for his country and very proud that he is to become a hero. In fact the scene where they give their last speech you can see a drastic difference. But the sarcasm reaches its peak when they find out their speech in a DVD shop who sells these speeches for a meager amount.

Said escapes or at least tries to when he gets a chance because at the back of the mind it’s what he always wanted to. To escape from that place, to escape from being a rebel, to escape from reality. You could see his hatred when he talks to the lady he loves about her father. Meanwhile on the other hand Khaled gets the idea of escape only after Said does so. That’s how much he has been influenced. But only people like Said could lead a normal life. Said will always be behind the invisible bars.


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