Wednesday, June 29, 2011

NYAFF: The Recipe (2010) (possible spoilers)

I was going to put this in tomorrows capsule post but I found I wrote a bit more than I was planning on and so I moved it here.

This is a film that you will either love or hate. It's a film that is going to make some people tear up at the end and make others shout obscenities at the screen.(I full expect someone to scream ala John McEnroe "You must be joking!!!)

As for me it didn't blow my skirt up.

The plot of the film begins as follows: a soldier on leave to attend school goes to a TV reporter, of the 60 Minutes variety, with a choice story. The reporter refuses to listen until he tells him that it has to do with a recently executed mad dog criminal. It seems that the his final statement was that he missed a certain type of stew. Everyone thinks it was going back to when he was a child, actually it was what he was eating when he was arrested. This opens a box of worms and sets the reporter on a course to find out what was so special about the stew and it's cook.

This rambling magical realism story is going to be a matter of personal taste (no pun intended). You'll know whether this film is for you pretty much once you see the slow mo fanciful recreations of the arrest. If that clicks you may have a shot at what follows. If you don't buy the magic from the start you're going to be doomed.

I found it well made and well done but the shifting tones from real, to magically real, to goofy, to other things made me less than thrilled.I also wasn't all that into the quest which never grabbed me. I kept waiting for a revelation or emotional hook that was going to pull it all together but it never did. In the end I was kind of left wondering if that was all. To me it was a shaggy dog story about stew.

My ambivalence aside, I know about four people who would eat this film up (pun intended). This would be a film that they would put on when they wanted to see a weepie love story. I've mentioned this to a couple ladies at the day job and they want to borrow my import DVD (which I can't loan them since it's region 3).

I'm not going say don't go see it, nor am I going to say see it. All I'm going to say is read what I've written and decide if it sounds good to you. If so go see it. If not take a pass and see something else.

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