Saturday, 14 December 2019

Hostage drama has a touch of the real

Hostage drama has a touch of the real

WHEN Dumb and Dumber director Peter Farrelly decided to make a “serious” film, everybody laughed.

Then Green Book won a string of industry awards — crowned by the Academy Award for best picture.

Paul Weitz, who made his name as the co-director of the hugely successful 1999 teen sex comedy American Pie, must be hoping something similar can happen for his new film.

Bel Canto is based on the multi-award-winning 2001 novel by Ann Patchett that was inspired by real events in Peru in 1996.

Julianne Moore plays Roxane Coss, a famous American soprano who travels to South America to give a private concert at the birthday party of rich Japanese industrialist and potential investor Katsumi Hosokawa, played by Ken Watanabe.

Just as a handsome gathering of local dignitaries convenes at Vice-President Ruben Ochoa’s mansion, including French ambassador Thibault (Christopher Lambert) and his wife (Elsa Zylberstein), Hosokawa’s faithful translator Gen (Ryo Kase), and Russian trade delegate Fyorodov (Olek Krupa), the house is taken over by guerrillas led by Comandante Benjamin (Tenoch Huerta) demanding the release of their imprisoned comrades.

Threats are made, lives are lost, and a tense negotiation begins.

For the hostages, their only contact with the outside world is through Red Cross negotiator Messner (Sebastian Koch).

A month-long standoff ensues in which hostages and captors must overcome their differences and find their shared humanity and hope in the face of impending disaster.

Something similar could be said of this week’s other big film, which promises to bring more than a decade of storytelling to a titanic conclusion. Avengers: Endgame picks up where last year’s Infinity War left off.

The grave course of events set in motion by super-villain Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers’ ranks compels the remaining heroes to take one last stand.

But how will they undo “the Snap”? Does Ant-Man, trapped in the Quantum Realm, hold the key? Is this the end for Tony Stark and Steve Rogers?

Find out all the answers in what promises to be an epic finale to the now 22-strong Marvel Cinematic Universe series of films.

Avengers: Endgame is now showing at Henley’s Regal Picturehouse cinema in Boroma Way. Bel Canto opens today (Friday).

Matthew Wilson

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