DRAMA THE WARRIOR (12) 86 min on.

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Refreshingly uncompromising in its seriousness and beauty

In Hollywood, it sometimes seems like heroes only ever renounce violence so they can take it up again. The Warrior has a not dissimilar structure, but remains a wonderfully effective film.

Lafcadia (lrfan Khan) is the loyal lieutenant of a brutal feudal lord in the dusty, arid plains of Northern India. While leading an attack on a village which has failed to pay its taxes, he pauses, sickened by the blood that stains him and the fear he evokes among the ordinary people. He renounces violence, but the lord will not let him go, visiting a terrible revenge of his family.

Rather than rebuckling his sword, kicking some butt and further tainting his already compromised moral standing, Lafcadia flees, unwillingly adopting a mischievous young pickpocket and travelling north into the mountains. And it is here that the film’s rather contemplative pace becomes truly effective, as director Asif Kapadia (birthplace: Hackney) lets the camera linger on vast deserts, icy peaks and the grubby, seemingly insignificant settlements mankind has erected to provide some protection from this harsh world.

The Warrior may end up being lazily lumped in with the likes of East Is East and Bend It Like Beckham under some godawful banner (‘AsiaMania’ has been mooted), but in truth it’s a radically different movie. Its simplicity makes it seem like an archetypal yarn, but it has a personality that belies its lack of dialogue. And, in an age of tongue-in-cheek jaunts, The Warrior is refreshingly uncompromising in its seriousness and beauty. (James Smart) I GET. G/(lSQOH/j Film/rouse. Edinburgh from Fri 3 May See preview. page 27.


the arrival into town of a young minister (Anders W. Berthelsen).

The action takes place in a complex containing a bakery. hair salon. restaurant and church and follows six characters who all take the same Italian language course. As well as the minister. there is the short fused restaurant owner Hal-Finn (Lars Kaalundi. his delicious Italian assistant Giulia (Sara lndrid Jensen). who is the object of desire for the ineffective complex manager Jorgen (Peter Ganzler). Jorgen is forced to send his friend Hal-Finn to hairdresser Karen (Ann Elenora Jorgensen), whose overbearing mother has just died. Her death leads to the discovery that the clumsy baker Olympia (Anette Stovelbaek) is her sister.

There's much enJ'Oyment to be had in the quirkiness and imperfection of the characters as they struggle to overcome personal misfortune. whilst embarking on new romances. It seems that nothing creates a warm glow like listening to someone whisper sweet nothings in Italian. (Kaleem Aftabi I Selected release from Fri 26 Apr. See prey/cw page. 26.

Breaking the Dogme manifesto

Made under the rules of Dogme 95. this film offers a departure from the dark. gloomy tales connected to that manifesto. The film. by the first female Dogme director Lone Scherfig. breaks a cardinal rule by being a romantic comedy. the most popular of all genre films. As if by confession. it begins with

THRILLER JOHN G (15) 117 min on.

John O is a dramatic thriller with a message. a sort of Dog Day Afternoon meets E. R. with a bit of Ken Loach thrown in. Denzel Washington stars as John O. Archibald. a decent family man driven to extreme measures when his son is refused an emergency heart transplant because he doesn't have adequate medical insurance. In desperation he takes the emergency room of the hospital hostage. including the Surgeon (James Woods) and a Suitany eclectic group of patients.

The film is superbly cast as well as Washington and Woods (both excellent). the splendid cast also includes Anne Heche. believably tough as the hospital administrator who refuses the operation, and Robert Duvall as the seen-it-all hostage negotiator.


(15) 111 min .000

Lindsay Anderson's allegorical masterpiece. first in a trilogy that included 0 Lucky Man.’ and Britannia Hospital over the next decade. is both of and beyond its time.

On the face of it. the story of a student-led rebellion in an English public school might be taken as a metaphor for the profound social change that had gone on in the 60s particularly in this seminal year of 1968. There are elements in the public school, particularly Peter Jetfry's headmaster, that suggest Harold Wilson's grammar school meritocrat generation, but there's a much

Smart crowd-pleaser

Although initially a little heaw on the message and manipulation front (a syrupladen score in the first half doesn't helpi. the film is well—written and the script contains several great lines. for example Eddie Griffin accusing fellow hostage Shawn Hatosy of being a wife-beater with the line: ‘YOu from the slap-'a-ho tribe'. A genuine crowd-pleaser that WI“ also give you something to think about. (Matthew Turner)

I General release from Fri 26 Apr.


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An aesthetic revolution

broader attack on betirgeois values going on. and the relevance of the piece to today's political culture is entirely undiminished.

If. . . is also notable for its narrational experiment. something that Anderson brought to the medium from his time at the Royal COurt Theatre. With uses of flashback. sections of monochrome and deliberate inversion of the audience's rational expectation (at times characters die. then return to life). the film is an aesthetic revolution. Add to that an outstanding performance by Malcolm McDowell. and you've got a cult classic. (Steve Crameri

I Selected release from Fri 26 Apr.

COMEDY SHOWTIME (12) 95 min 000

Robert De Niro's foray into comedy roles continues apace with Showtime. a buddy cop movie that sees his veteran LAPD detective teaming up with Eddie Murphy's rookie cop and wannabe actor. When Murphy's desire for media attention gets in the way of a bust. De Niro angrily shoots a TV camera and the department insists that. in order to make amends. the

Ridiculous, but fun

pair become partners on a reality cop show. The rest of the plot is even more ridiculous and involves nothing more than a dodgy-accented villain plotting to get

his hands On some Really Big Guns.

Showtime c0u|d have been truly awful (and plunders somewhat from the James Woods/Michael J. Fox film The Hard Way). but it works thanks to the performances and a healthy quota of decent gags. De Niro may be coasting. but he gives a reliably solid performance as essentially the straight man to Murphy's frequently hilarious prer—zning. fame-obsessed fool. There's also solid support from Rene Russo as the TV shows producer and a hilarious extended cameo by William Shatner (playing himself) who pops up to adyise the pair on t.)ehaying like a TV cop. 'Just like I did on T.J. Hooker". SWitch—off»your-brain entertainment.

(Matthew Turner) I General release from Fri 3 May

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