Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Concert, El Concierto, Le Concert.

Having fallen hopelessly in love with El Biografo I decided I had to go back and see something else, there, even if that something else was, to judge by its publicity poster, the kind of twaddle I can't abide. I'd read and heard enough about Le Concert in France to reach the conclusion that I'd rather lick a lavatory seat clean than sit through a factually inaccurate, shallow, manipulative portrayal of miscarriages of justice under communism. However, you don't stumble across a cinema like this one every day so you try to keep your unfounded prejudices under control, pluck the CLP$2000 (about €3) out of your pocket and select the aisle seat of your choice.

You know what? I loved it. The set-piece comedy moments were well done, the dénouement not quite what I was expecting (but then again, I'm an ultra-gullible viewer, never wanting to second-guess what's coming up but choosing to let it unfold in front of my eyes). The cleverest part, to my mind, was the effortless flip to serious at the end after so much slapstick. I didn't care for the ha-ha bits like the director spontaneously kissing his gopher or the tacky 'bravo' shouted by the ultra-demanding critic but the ultimate realisation that the girl was the daughter of two of his friends sent to basically die in Siberia ensured that the old waterworks started up.  I wept more than the odd tear; the last time that happened was when I saw Stuart Little in Paris about eleven years ago.Funny how the kind of films I don't like are the ones that end up making me cry. Hmm...

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