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CINEMA Film round-up: May 21, 2020

MARIA DUARTE reviews Take Me Somewhere Nice and The Final Wish

Take Me Somewhere Nice (N/C)
Directed by Ena Sendijarevic

IN TAKE Me Somewhere Nice, a Dutch girl of Bosnian descent travels to Bosnia to visit her sick father she has never met in this surreal yet intriguing drama about.

This story about a young woman attempting to reconnect with her family and her birthplace, has Alma (a captivating and haunting Sara Luna Zoric) teaming up with her indifferent estranged cousin Emir (Ernad Prnjavorac) and his charming best friend Denis (Lazar Dragojevic) on a road trip with unexpected turns through the heartland of Bosnia.

Sexy and stylish, it’s an assured and impressive debut feature from writer-director Ena Sendijarevic, who makes no apologies for, or judgement of, her Lolita-like lead character Alma. More than happy in her own skin, she knows what she wants and how to get it and does not care what people think.

When Denis tells her that Dutch girls are known for being easy she doesn’t bat an eyelid. Not falling for the bait, she has sex with him when she decides to and on her terms, not his.

Zoric plays Alma with an indefinable ambivalence. Totally unfazed as she finds herself a stranger in an alien land, she nevertheless begins to fall for Denis — but “you're a walking passport to him,” her cousin warns her.

When she asks Emir if he wants to leave Bosnia too, he retorts angrily that he won't because “this is my country.” She accuses him of being a nationalist but he tells her that he is a patriot, explaining that the difference is that the first is based on hatred, the second on love.

Passionate and aggressive, this is a poignant journey of personal discovery driven home by powerhouse performances from its three charismatic leads.

Released on Mubi.

The Final Wish (18)
Directed by Timothy Woodward Jr

FROM the creator of The Final Destination franchise comes a spinechilling and crowd-pleasing horror about a struggling young lawyer forced to face his demons.

After his father’s death Aaron (Michael Welch) returns to his home town to look after his grief-stricken mother (Lin Shaye). Everyone believes he’s a hotshot city lawyer but nothing could be further from the truth as he battles his own insecurities and others expectations.

After uncovering a strange antique among his late father’s possessions, he suddenly finds all his wishes miraculously coming true but with a macabre twist. Cue horror mayhem.

From a script co-written by Jeffrey Reddick, director Timothy Woodward Jr delivers a beautifully paced and crafted horror film full of traditional tropes but with some added touches.

Be careful what you wish for is the moral and, with its wonderfully creepy setting and its stylised look and feel, underscored by a typically eerie and menacing soundtrack, the end result is an old-fashioned hair-raising romp with a broad fan appeal, with Candyman’s Tony Todd making a cameo appearance.

The perfect date-night film, if only cinemas were open.

On digital HD from May 25.


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