Progress Report, by David Bax

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1 Response

  1. Adrien B. says:

    Completely agree with this review. Saw this film at the Rome International Film Fest, and was hugely disappointed. Besson has always been one of my favourite directors. The Big Blue, The Professional and The Fifth Element are among my most cherished movies of my youth. Sadly, his career as a director hasn’t really blossomed since. While I applaud him for branching out into new and fascinating territory, I never felt he knew really how to properly approach this material. I agree that the film is gorgeous to look at, and the performances are fantastic despite the limitation in the script. However, the film’s biggest and most glaring flaw is in how it treats its characters. After 140 minutes, I still have no idea who these people are. Besson only manages to list their accomplishments, and while I understand that their struggle was great, I was never as invested in their journey as I should have been. The film relies on the relationship between Suu and Aris as the emotional hook, but Besson never once shows them in conflict. While I won’t dispute fact, I have a really hard time believing that 11 years of separation would never have brought on an argument, or even a discussion about whether where marriage should go. For a film that tries so hard to do justice to such an important figure of recent history, it fails to give her a soul, and doesn’t manage to go beyond raising awareness of her incredible story. In the end, it’s better than nothing, but still far from great.

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