Miral

(2010)

Genres: Drama

Review: Miral

Transcript for Review: Miral

CHRISTY LEIMRE
Next up is "Miral," the latest film from director Julian Schnabel. It follows the evolution of a Palestinian girl by flashing back to the various women who shaped her. One is the gracious director of the Jerusalem orphanage where Miral would end up living. Another is her self-destructive mother. Then there's Miral herself, played by Freida Pinto. She arrives about halfway through -- and she's a teenage rebel.

CLIP 1 -- men come to the door to take Miral away


CHRISTY

That's Alexander Siddig as Miral's loving and conservative father. But the girl is torn between her devotion to him and her attraction to a dangerous and sexy PLO member played by Omar Metwally.

CLIP 2 -- they talk and kiss in the dark


CHRISTY
Like Schnabel's last film, the Oscar-nominated "The Diving Bell and the Butterfly," "Miral" comes at us in pieces, and it has some striking imagery. But ultimately it feels unfocused as it meanders through all these characters' lives. Pinto is distractingly miscast in the lead role _ that's only partly because she's an Indian actress playing a Palestinian in a film that's all about cultural identity. Mainly, she looks too old to be a schoolgirl, and she's far too beautiful to play somebody who's supposed to be ordinary.
 
IGNATIY VISHNEVETSKY
This movie is a mess.
 
CHRISTY:
It is.  You’re right.
 
IGNATIY:
It is and there are so many things I like about it.  I think the cinematography by Eric Gautier is absolutely gorgeous and that and the editing often, they just capture these wonderful rhythms of life, but then the movie keeps insisting that it’s about politics and it’s about history and whenerver the narative kind of starts up again, it’s so clunky.  Antoehr kind of problem I think is that Schnabel is obviously very good at directing male actors.
 
CHRISTY:
Right.
 
IGNATIY:
I think that came through Before Night Falls with Javier Bardem.  I don’t think he really knows how to direct a cast of women.  This is a movie with a predominantly female cast and he seems completely lost with it.  He doesn’t really seem to know what to do with Pinto.
 
CHRISTY:
And she’s all wrong here, I mean…
 
IGNATIY:
She is completely wrong for this role.
 
CHRISTY:
And the fact that her character doesn’t really know who she is and she keeps evolving.  She’s supposed to be our prosm for which we see everything.
 
IGNATIY:
Yeah
 
CHRISTY:
So the fact that she is so unstable doesn’t help us get a handle on what is going on here.
 
IGNATIY:
Which is really odd because for example, in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, he manages to kind of use the film’s style as a way to et inside the world of the character, but here the style almost distances us from them.  They never appear as people.  They’re just kind of models for these images.
 
CHRISTY:
And a lot of cool uses of perspective and of course Schnabel being an artist forst and foremost, it’s a beautiful film, but that’s about it.