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Evaluate: Name of God – Cineuropa

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– VENICE 2022: South Korean grasp Kim Ki-duk’s posthumous movie possesses some nice pathos, however its potential is undermined by its visible patchiness and nebulous writing

Abylai Maratov and Zhanel Sergazina in Name of God

Late grasp Kim Ki-duk’s posthumous movie Name of God has been introduced out of competitors at this 12 months’s Venice Movie Competition. The South Korean filmmaker, who handed away in Riga in December 2020 after contracting COVID-19, makes an attempt to craft a narrative concerning the elusive relationship between actuality, love and goals.

Set in Kyrgyzstan, the plot centres on the turbulent, tragic love story between a younger lady (performed by Zhanel Sergazina) and a author (Abylai Maratov), who casually meet at a crossroads. As the person is asking the lady the place the “Dream Café” is, a thief snatches her bag. The author chases him and manages to get well it, subsequently asking her out for dinner. The lady hesitantly accepts, and that’s the starting of a sick, terrifying love story between the 2. Specifically, the author hesitates to interrupt up with Lina (Nazbiike Aidarova) and one in every of his ex-girlfriends (Aygerim Akkanat), triggering a sequence of tragic vicissitudes together with a spiral of bodily and psychological violence.

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We then realise that the entire sequence depicting the pair’s first encounter has simply been a dream. The lady wakes up in her mattress and receives a telephone name. The mysterious particular person speaking to her tells her that she will determine to fall asleep and see what occurs subsequent – and all the pieces she goals of will later occur in the true world – or to cease sleeping, during which case she is going to solely undergo what she has simply dreamt, thus dealing with an unsure future.

Such a story mechanism, nonetheless, doesn’t fairly hit the mark and displays the movie’s general nebulous writing. In reality, it will get more durable and more durable to know what’s being dreamt and skilled for actual by the lady, and the clunky modifying by Audrius Juzėnas and Karolis Labutis doesn’t assist viewers make up their minds. Extra usually, the technical aspect of issues – together with the voice-over work completed on among the characters – feels a bit too amateurish and rushed.

In any case, it’s truthful to focus on the truth that the manufacturing was completed off by the grasp’s late buddies and colleagues, thus we don’t actually know to what extent all the undertaking has been affected – and compromised – by the work carried out after his demise.

On a extra optimistic word, we are able to nonetheless see some first rate character improvement and a very good dose of pathos, which can handle to maintain the viewer hooked all through. Though the writing is patchy and complicated, it does boast ample depth, because it explores how jealousy and possessiveness can set off a person and a lady’s darkest intents.

Whereas closely restricted by the aforementioned flaws, the film continues to be a beneficiant act of affection and an vital homage to the profession and imaginative and prescient of Kim-ki Duk, who was taken from us too quickly.

Name of God was staged by Estonia’s Estofilm, South Korea’s Kim Ki-duk Movies and Lithuania’s AVAKA. Estonian outfit MTU Otaku is in command of its world gross sales.

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