Reflections on motherhood...


Saturday, March 29, 2014

The Sailor's movie meanderings: The Monuments Men and Wadjda

The Sailor insisted we see two movies last week: The Monuments Men and Wadjda.

I wasn't so sure about George Clooney's latest offering, but The Sailor reasoned we should get out of the house, even if George wasn't such a great incentive.  The Monuments Men is the *true* story of how the Americans heroically saved almost all of Europe's great works of art from destruction by Hitler during WWII.

It's like George Clooney, after reading the novel of the dramatisation of the true story, decided it would be fun to get all his best mates together to make a film.  He's managed to collect together a bunch of his favourite actors to make up the unlikely band of stragglers that are the platoon tasked with rescuing the art that defines civilisation (*ahem*).

This movie should have been called The Monuments Men and Women.  The movie's website itself says that both men and women were part of the 345-strong platoon that worked to save these cultural artifacts.  The Sailor complained that it was sad to see gender stereotypes being perpetuated.  I couldn't have agreed more.

It was great to see Cate Blanchett in the cast, but The Sailor and I wanted to see more of her.  In fact, she was the highlight, among an otherwise all-male cast who relied mostly on charm and/or good looks to get through the film.

The Sailor then complained that perhaps we shouldn't have come to see George Clooney after all.  I reminded him that leaving the house was his idea, and if he wanted to cry about it, he could.  A few whimpers soon turned into full-blown anti-George screaming.

Noooo, not George Clooney!!!

The Sailor soon quietened with a nipple in his gob, and the stodgy dialogue lulled him off to sleep, leaving me to contend with George and the full-blown all-American arrogance on my own.

Thank goodness those Americans saved all the world's art - even if it was just so that George Clooney had the chance to make a mediocre war film to tell the tale.

Rating: ** (only worth seeing if you're desperate for an outing)

The next day, The Sailor said we should maybe see something a bit more women's lib, a story where the underdog triumphs, something with a sassy female lead.  Luckily, Wadjda was showing.

Wadjda is a 10-year old girl living in Saudi Arabia.  As far as strong, sassy female leads go, she has it in spades.  The plot is simple enough.  All Wadjda wants is a bike so that she can race (and beat) Abdullah, the boy from next door.  Riding bikes and playing with boys are both frowned on in Saudi Arabia, because of the threat both cause to a girl's virtue.

Wadjda is rebellious, enterprising and smart - so she finds ways to save for the much-desired bike. Then along comes a Koran recitation contest, with prize money that will more than buy her the bike...

The Sailor was so excited about the movie, he let out an enormous shart, leaving me to contend with a nappy change in the dark, while trying to read the subtitles on the movie.  I quickly discovered the shart hadn't been contained to The Sailor's nappy - I too was covered in baby shit.  With that incident cleaned up, The Sailor soon snuggled in for a nap, leaving me to cheer on Wadjda.

This is a story that will open your eyes to life as a woman in Saudi Arabia, and make you grin with glee as the sassy Wadjda takes on the establishment in her own way.

Rating: **** (definitely worth leaving the house for)

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