Before the match I thought I'd be voting the other way.
I saw Rat-Trap
a few years ago, and what I said then still stands:
Fergenaprido wrote: ↑February 23rd, 2015, 2:54 pm
I watched this for the 500<400 list back in September. Didn't really like it, but it's not terrible.
That being said, the film has remained distinct in my memory, unlike other films that tend to fade away and lose all the finer details. If the Greek film had been better, I was actually going to rewatch this one to be sure of my opinion, something I've never done in a WC match so far. But ultimately that wasn't necessary. I may rewatch it again some time this decade and see if it improves upon another viewing. I feel like it should.
The Greek film was a bore. I completely get why it stirs up nostalgic feelings for some people, but it didn't for me - I have no personal connection to anything in the film, I'm not Greek, and I wasn't familiar with the music beforehand. I watched the 2004 "director's cut" (the 2.5-hour version), and it was way too long. The fact that it took 20 minutes to set the mood/introduce the story and still have nothing significant happen should have warned me of what was to come. The music was nice, yes, but really that's all that was memorable about this film - I could have just played the soundtrack and gained the same appreciation for the music. The insertion of historical footage to reference the time periods was an interesting choice (and I'm thankful for the subtitler who went the extra length to indicate what those were depicting even though there was no text onscreen to translate), but they didn't connect with the main story at all. It's said this is loosely based on the life of the singer Marika Ninou, but they changed so much I wonder what was the point of bothering to try and base it off of something. (Tangent - I saw Our Children
last night, which is another fictional story loosely based off of a real event, and I think that did a better job of referencing/honouring the source material while still managing to tell an independent and compelling story) And as a non-Greek, a lot of the reference points were lost on me as I'm not very familiar with Greek history beyond the basics (I knew about the Greek-Turkish war and population exchange, the Nazi occupation, and the fact that there was a military dictatorship at some point, but nothing else), which probably didn't help me to connect with the film. The scenes before and after the war with the soldiers confused me,
like when they appeared out of nowhere to start rounding people up and then chased people and destroyed the marketplace. Plus that offhand comment about one guy who was killed by the fascists - was he one of the band members? - made no sense to me. And who was it who killed Thomas? I didn't recognize him. And why did he kill him? Something to do with him bribing the police earlier? And why does Yorgos say he loves Marika like a mother and a sister when it's clear he loves her as a woman/wife? Or was that just bad subtitles?
I don't now what score I'll give the film just yet, but it's a dislike for being so boring, so less than 5.5
1. The casual misogyny - Sure, the 1980s were a different time, but they way this film treats the women bothers me and I don't think the time period in which it was made is any excuse. Rosa is fine and pleasant and willing to work with Marika, and then all of a sudden she's a drunkard and commits suicide in a single night, without anything being shown prior to that indicating as such, as though the plot needed something to happen, so it decided to change her character to make it "exciting". The worst, in my eyes, was the way the mother was treated - Opening up the filming with a birth scene... what's missing? I know, let's throw in a boobie! Because nothing is more essential in a scene of childbirth that the pregnant woman's breast (because they're bigger then?)- And again, when the mother dies, what do we see? Her poor, broken and battered body... and one boob.
2. The climax of the film when Marika is stabbed is possibly the stupidest climax I've ever seen on film (in a serious drama... I've seen a few stupider ones in some comedies). It seems like it was all a set-up for the admittedly touching funeral scene (which also, while beautiful, seemed entirely unrealistic given everything else that happened in the film), but it wasn't believable at all: the setup with the crowd and the crazy guy, the stabbing itself, the way the crowd flees immediately afterward, her wandering the street slowly, and finally her laying on the staircase while the child streams ribbons across her dying body. It's just not credible to me (especially given that the real singer died a "boring" death of cancer at a young age) and it was the final straw for me for a film that was already testing my patience and my goodwill.
On the lighter side, There's a boom mic mid-shot for 7 seconds in the centre of the frame at around the 51:20 mark (I think... I added the exact timecode to the imdb goofs section), which I found amusing.
And isn't the title a transcription error? Shouldn't it be Rebetiko
, not Rembetiko
since the Greek is Ρεμπέτικο