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Review of ‘Be Kind Rewind’ May 26, 2008

Posted by astralwicks in Blogging, Culture, Entertainment, Films, Movies, Reviews, Writing.
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Last night I saw Be Kind Rewind; the latest from the mercurial Michel Gondry. He who made numerous music videos before jumping the film bandwagon with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Nobody denies that he is inventive. Sometimes too avant garde for his own good people say.

I watched Eternal Sunshine on more than one occasion but avoided the Science of Sleep because of bad reviews. I agree, I should have chucked the reviews and taken a personal call. Anyways, Be Kind beckoned and so I went.

Also because it had Jack Black. Almost everyone I know like Jack Black…for his comic timing and goofy antics. Jack caught the eye in High Fidelity ending up as the lead in Shallow Hal and the School of Rock. So Jack too beckoned.

Be Kind Rewind is an easier film coming as it does from Gondry. It is linear and there is no complex philosophy to it. It is a film about film making. About no-budget film making to be specific.

Jack, a self-deluded anarchist, is magnetized trying to blow up a power tower. When he visits Be Kind Rewind, a VHS store, supervised by Mos Def in the absence of the owner Danny Glover, he accidentally erases all the tapes. Glover has a month to save his shop or the bulldozers will mow Be Kind Rewind.

When Mia Farrow asks for Ghostbusters to be delivered by sundown, the two friends hit on an idea – to make Ghostbusters…again. Then they make Jaws and Rush Hour 2 for other customers. Their 30 min features are appreciated and the two are joined first by a mechanic and then a girl who is discovered in a laundry.

Glover comes back to see that things are turning round at the shop, what with an ever-increasing audience. The studious too feel threatened and slap them with anti-piracy notices and destroy all Be Kind Rewind productions, much to the great dismay of the makers and their fans.

Undeterred the small community of Passaic, a small town that nobody wants to remember, decides to make an original film…on the legendary Fats Waller, who supposedly was born in the store. The entire town comes together in making this film…a labour of love.

It is premiered in the last hour of Be Kind Rewind’s existence on a white sheet. Unknown to the small audience inside the store, the entire city watches the film from the streets. And they laugh at the film. And they clap at the film. We don’t know whether Be Kind Rewind stood after this or it was demolished?

What we do know is that films can be made with no budget. If one wants to.  They can be campy, ridiculous, tacky, humiliating but also innovative, ingenious and innocent.

It is this ‘innocence’ that Be Kind Rewind wants to rewind to.



1. myexpression - May 26, 2008

gr8 review… as good as the film…

2. astralwicks - May 26, 2008

should have written in greater detail i feel, now that it’s printed…of course, I can add but…

3. 1minutefilmreview - May 27, 2008

Nice review. Gondry’s like a happier version of Tim Burton or a more child-like Terry Gilliam. When you see a Gondry film you’ll know it’s him!

4. astralwicks - May 27, 2008

@1minute i agree…all maverick’s and the film world is better because of them

5. myexpression - May 28, 2008

i totally agree with you astral…

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