TL;DR – A fascinating but also a quite difficult film, great acting, but only one-dimensional characters, with a very mixed ending
Score – 3 out of 5 stars
Post-Credit Scene – No
So back in 2017, I pushed myself to go see more non-western films and while it was a laudable goal, it didn’t pan out as much as I would have liked. Well, 2018 is a new year, and so let’s take another stab at this, and well there was no better place to start than with one of the most controversial films I have seen since maybe The Interview (see review). A leading politician in India demanded people assault the director, sets have been burnt down, death threats have been made, even riots at screenings and well some people have really got to understand what the Streisand Effect is. Now before we get into the film review proper I did want to preface this review with a couple of provisos, for better or worse I am approaching this film as an outsider, as I am a white guy who is not a practitioner of any of the religions depicted nor a decedent of any of the ethnic groups in this film. Now this means that I am likely missing a lot of the historical and cultural contexts that the film is using as shorthand. But also, I have no particular want to see one side viewed in a certain way, so impartial external observer and what not. So let’s dive into probably one of the more interesting films I have seen recently, for good and bad reasons.
TL;DR – This movie is trying to be a lot of things, but never really succeeds at any of them
Score – 2 out of 5 stars
So we have hit December and that means that Christmas movies are upon us, and the first cab off the rank this year is The Night Before, so how is it, well, meh. To try and explain this film, imagine taking the comedic sensibilities of a usual Seth Rogan production (see Bad Neighbours, This is the End & The Interview) and smash it together with the iconography and themes of traditional Christmas movie. This is an interesting concept, but in practice, we get a slapdash amalgamation of the two rather than an interesting hybrid.