About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

03 August 2014

Movie: Mr. Pip

The brief synopsis of the movie does not really capture the social tensions, the brutality, and the beauty of this movie - it is one of those that you walk in expecting something, but leave after watching something quite different.

Set in early 1990, in Papua New Guinea's Bougainville island/region - the movie, based on a novel of the same name, explores the civilian village life in a fairly brutal civil war for autonomy/independence. The story follows Matilda, and Mr Watts, who takes up teaching the village kids; primarily through Dickens' Great Expectations - but also weaving in other villagers who bring their own expertise in exchange for staying to listen to the story. Matilda's imagination leads her to reimagine Pip in the context of her own people (but strangely still in Victorian clothing) - but this leads to a rather disastrous end as the army captain decides that Pip is really an important rebel being hidden by the village.

In the end, Matilda's life runs parallel to that of Dickens' Pip - in that she is a person of which there are great expectations, and one that eventually is (partially?) fulfilled. But it is not so much the parallel - but the sheer beauty and innocence of village life that makes this a compelling movie. In the context of current world events in Gaza, Ukraine, Syria and elsewhere - it really captures the dichotomy of experiences and wishes of the fighters and the people caught in between.