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Paradise Now (2005)

  Directed by: Hany Abu-Assad
Written by: Hany Abu-Assad, Bero Beyer, Pierre Hodgson
Starring: Lubna Azabal, Kais Nashef, Ali Suliman
Links: Paradise Now on the IMDb
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 7.00 (1 rating)
nofreelist.com Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

"Stirring the pot?" - a review by pearly

Paradise Now is an intriguing film which follows a pair of childhood friends on the day that they discover that they've been chosen to martyr themselves by illegally crossing into Israel with bombs strapped to their bodies.

Said (Kais Nashef) works at a mechanics with his lifelong friend Khaled (Ali Suliman). On this particular day, Said meets Suha (Lubna Azabal), a woman with whom he immediately clicks. The two flirt, and Said is yet to realise that this may be his last meeting with her. As the day goes on, and Said and Khaled discover their fate, this meeting may affect the outcome for all concerned.

Though Paradise Now seems to speed into its premise, offering what initially appears to be not enough back-story, it plays out in such a way that, by its conclusion, you feel as though you do have enough information about the central characters to see things via their eyes - whether you disagree with them or not.

It's a slippery slope - can an audience really accept the motivation behind any suicide bombing? But what Paradise Now tries, and for the most part succeeds, to do is that it doesn't say that either path is right or wrong, it just lays out one particular story and lets you watch it for yourself, and form your own opinions on the various issues it brings up. I didn't sit there throughout hating the central characters - I could see them as humans, and then it was just up to me to figure out what I thought of their actions.

Paradise Now is bound to be a controversial film, purely because of its themes. I'm not buying into any of those arguments, I'm just judging the cinematic experience. And on that count, I was quite happy.

pearly gives this movie 7 out of 10.
Review created on Mon 24 Oct 2005

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