Old 10-01-2001, 11:48 PM
"The Unbearable Lightness of Being" (10/10)

A Brock Landers Overview of A Brilliant Philip Kaufman Film (10/10)

Sabina: "I've met another man. He's the best man I've ever met. He's bright, handsome and he's crazy about me. And, he's married. There's only one thing; he doesn't like my hat."

This 172 minute masterpiece is director Philip Kaufman ("Quills") at his best. "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" captures a refined erotic appeal that becomes so much more than a sexual afterthought. Based on the challenging novel by Milan Kundera of the same name, this film adaptation becomes an intimate and epic look at modern relationships and how they effect us so very devastatingly. At once emotional and intelligent, it redefines the way most of us look at love and romance, exposing our every weakness and desire for all to see.

The story, while set in Prague and full of echoes of Communist regimes since passed, is one of universal depth. The challenge for Kaufman was to bring the same sexually ambiguous relevance that the book expresses and turn it into something palpable for cinemagoers to relate with, and in my opinion, Kaufman was definitely up for the task as his painstaking adaptation reveals.

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis as a passionate young brain surgeon, Lena Olin (Sabina) as his amorous mistress, and Juliette Binoche (Tereza) as his "true love" that he marries, this film while full of amazing performances really spoke to me on a very base level. It is the story of all men and women and how each of us must decide whether or not to be faithful to one person.

Lewis' character, Tomas, struggles throughout the political and social restructuring of 1968 in his homeland by delving deeply into torrid love affairs. At once meaningful and meaningless, these relationships with women that he explores takes him to the deepest, darkest and painfully honest recesses of his existence. The decision to be faithful or not is nothing he takes lightly, however his turmoil-stricken nature is to hurt and be hurt. His life, which seems to be well under control, is anything but, instead it is a self-destructive existence that he realizes too late.

What I truly enjoyed about this film was its marriage of culture and commerce. It is both artistic and entertaining, it's scenes and dialogue full of kink and humor. It excites the senses both physically and mentally, which I believe to be the mark of excellence in cinema.

Intense and provocative, moving and sympathetic, "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" is well worth checking out, whether by yourself or with someone you love. It oozes sexuality and challenges your thinking, and so far every woman I have shown it to has responded with enthusiasm. It's definitely my kind of date movie.

[This message has been edited by Brock Landers (edited 10-02-2001).]
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Old 10-02-2001, 12:11 AM

One of the reasons i come to this site is that I learn about movies I have never heard of before. And this, I had not heard of until now.

From what you said, it appears that I should hold off seeing it; because the story is more adult oriented and I might not get it until I'm a bit older. Don't get me wrong, I understand quite a bit, but I would appreciate it more once I've had a few relationships. Until I have experienced more of the world, ya know. But I'll definitely remember this one, and see it sometime. You have succeeded admirably in your recommendation.

[This message has been edited by Fergus (edited 10-02-2001).]
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Old 10-02-2001, 12:50 AM
Well considering my junior high friend's father, a doctor and hippie took me and my friend to see this film when it came out [if we promised not to tell. ], that would have made me about 14 years old when I first saw it at a small arthouse cinema in Eugene, Oregon (same place I first saw "My Life As A Dog", and I have fond memories of that theatre, which was only about three or four blocks from The University of Oregon campus.)

Admittedly, I never fully understood it at the time, just that Olin was a hot older babe, there was nudity, and it was beautifully shot... I have since grown to appreciate it much more. That is only natural, and only my personal experience with this film. Of course, I look at all films I saw as a younger me somewhat differently upon reviewing them now.

I almost feel nostalgic about it for some reason, and perhaps that adds to my enjoyment of it, not to mention I recently waded through the novel, and still don't have it all figured out. The book is sort of like a really complex "Arabian Nights"... and even reminded me of the Kama Sutra at times... not to mention other sexually-oriented books, however the sexual nature of this film (and book) is really handled very maturely, and is never gratuitous, at least not to the point of many lesser films (and books). I like to think of this film the same way I do of "Last Tango In Paris", another adult-oriented journey into sex and the psyche, and also a classic of art cinema. You have to remember that the director has done such other great films as "Invasion of The Body Snatchers" (1978 vversion) and "The Right Stuff", my point only being that he brings a unique history of filmmaking experience to this artsy-type film. He also did last year's great film about the Marquis De Sade, "Quills" of course, as well as "Henry & June" and "The Wanderers" to name some other great films of his I enjoy.
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Old 10-05-2001, 02:35 PM
Well, Brock, is a good movie and a good review. In my opinion is the type of "deep" movies that you saw when you want to think at the theater.
I saw it in college, like five years ago.
The only think that I miss is that is really hard to start a discusion here about a movie like this, basically because....NO ONE POST ABOUT IT!!!!!!!
Well, I think I will discuss "I still know what you did last decade", to see how many responses I'll have....
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Old 10-06-2001, 02:00 AM
I totally understand where you're coming from bud... I mean, it ain't easy being sleazy and all that...

[This message has been edited by Brock Landers (edited 10-06-2001).]
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