There is only really one major release worth checking out this week at UK cinemas.
The Namesake (12A)
Based on the Pulitzer prize winning novel by Jhumpa Lahiri this tells the story of an Indian couple (superbly played by Irfan Khan and Tabu) who settle in New York and start a family. They have a daughter and a son who they name Gogol (after the Russian novelist). The film then charts their struggles to adapt to American culture whilst not losing their traditional Indian ways. Perceptive in its treatment of the immigrant experience touching in how it depicts family relations, director Mira Nair deserves credit for creating a drama of considerable depth and sensitivity.
Mr Bean’s Holiday (PG)
Mr. Bean (Rowan Atkinson) returns and the bumbling character goes on his travels to the south of France where mishap and mayhem begin, most notably at the Cannes Film Festival. Bean was never an amusing character to me on TV or in the first movie in 1997. In many ways he is the antithesis of Rowan Atkinson’s other great comic creation – the more cynical and verbally astute Blackadder. You may find it funny if you enjoy laboured gags about miscommunication between the French and a bumbling Englishman, but if you are more discerning you may (like me) find it unnecessary and unfunny. But it is still destined to make money around the world.
The Hills Have Eyes 2 (18)
Another unnecessary sequel (a sequel to a remake no less) sees a group of National Guard trainees fighting for survival against everyone’s favourite group of vicious mutants in the desert. Like a lot of recent horror movies (e.g. Hostel) it indulges in a lot of over the top violence and sadism designed for drooling fanboys rather than delivering any real chills or drama.
FILM OF THE WEEK: The Namesake