Sunday, December 6, 2009

Two broads and a poopload of guns?

Yesterday I went to see Kirot, an Israeli movie directed by Danny Lerner and starring Ukranian Bond girl Olga Kurylenko and rockstar wannabe Ninet Tayeb. Kirot was originally pitched as a film about "two chicks and a whole lot of guns", and that's what I expected it to be. Unfortunately, I was sort of disappointed. In the brief history of Israeli cinema there's a severe shortage of genre films, and especially of good genre films, so I was pretty excited about the idea of Danny Lerner, whose directorial debut Frozen Days is one of the coolest Israeli movies ever, making a full blown action movie set in the heart of Tel-Aviv. What I actually got was more of a cheesy melodrama about prostitution, human trafficking and domestic abuse with a handful of true coolness thrown here and there between the sappy parts and long film school-type silences. Olga Kurylenko plays Galia, a Ukranian chick who left her daughter to become a sex worker in a sleazy whore house in Tel-Aviv. After two years she feels like she's had enough of the local clientele and tries to run away, which leads to her being locked up in a scary dungeon and beat up pretty badly. Her pimp finally makes a deal with her: if she does a couple of hit jobs for him, he'll give her all the money he owes her and return her passport, so she can fly back to the Ukraine. He then puts her up in a gross little apartment, where she's supposed to sit and wait for his instructions. The thing is, the neighbors are being way too loud for her to get a proper beauty sleep. See, the husband guy enjoys beating his wife up whenever's possible, which is pretty much all the time. Not cool at all, but sort of understandable when your wife looks exactly like Ninet Tayeb, Israel's most annoying pop sensation. The two women, who communicate using the international language known as Bad English, form a strong bond between them, which includes Galia instructing her new friend on how to use a gun, and toy with the idea of running away together. We're supposed to believe that a prostitute who has only killed a couple of people at close range can shoot like a professional hitwoman, but there's a limit to my capacity for suspension of disbelief. The few action scenes are pretty good, but mostly they just made me wish there were more of them. Thanks to the rather low budget most of the actual bloody violence is performed off camera, which sort of stinks. Like, you see someone shooting a gun, then cut to a guy with red stained rips in his shirt. Not very dynamic. I did really like the scenes that take place at the Tel-Aviv central bus station, which include the near-complete destruction of an Egged bus. Ms. Kurylenko is probably the classiest broad to ever appear in an Israeli movie. It is a pure joy to behold her gracing the ugly streets of downtown Tel-Aviv with her gracious presence. You even get to see her speak a few phrases in Hebrew, like "I'm no sucker" and "fuck you". That was pretty damn hot. And best off all, she gets naked! We get a full profile of her in the nude, which seems to be the director's preferred way of showing female nudity on screen, on her way to dip in a mikveh. Everything that Max Payne was severely short on due to its PG-13 rating is shown here, and it is a glorious sight to behold. Ninet Tayeb is just tragically awful in her first film role, as you'd expect from someone who is the exact opposite of cool. One can only hope that in the future she'll stick to what she does best, which is changing hair styles and letting the paparazzi take photos of her going to the bathroom or something. I'd like to say that a different actress would have made the character more believable, but the truth is that Kirot suffers from a script that is way too cheesy and just not smart enough. That said, I'm still waiting for Danny Lerner's next project. With a good script and a bigger budget I think he could do wonders for the local film industry, tiny and pathetic as it may be.

Olga Kurylenko climbing over a kir. Nice gam, isn't it?

What bothered me the most about Kirot was that one scene was shot in a restaurant called Avazi, where they serve dead force-fed geese for people to feed on. It is, however, where the bad guys meet, so I guess it's sort of OK. It would hardly surprise me to find out that people who are cruel to animals are also involved in human trafficking. Sticking stuff into someone without their full consent is not cool, be they man or beast.

A dumb skank and her greasy himbo of a boyfriend

No comments:

Post a Comment