Of discovering gems while kicking pebbles

I sat down to watch Dancer in the Dark because I had nothing better to do on Sunday morning when my friend called at the last minute to cancel our plan to go watch My Super Ex Girlfriend.

I have this thing; I love watching movies in theatres. The whole larger than life experience is so joyful, so beguiling that I do not care if I go to watch crap like The Island or The Legend of Zorro. Plus, My Super Ex… has added vantage called Uma Thurman. Anyhow, I browsed through the stack of movies and found two potential watches: Dancer in the Dark and Iruvar. I settled for the previous as the latter was on a VCD and hence, without subtitles. I was in no mood for a Sunday morning class in Tamil.

|| Dancer in the Dark ||

This is a simple story of a young Czech woman back in 1964. Selma, lover of American musicals, moves to America, the land of Hollywood, to work and save up for her son’s operation. She suffers from a genetic disease that will inevitable lead to blindness and the same will be the case with her son. She herself has a few months and spends these working day and night to save money for her son’s operation so that she can prevent him from going blind. In this endeavor, she makes some friends and one such friend cheats her by stealing her saved up money.

It is a well-told tale of a strong woman, her determination, and knack of finding joy in most terrible situations. You see Selma transform with situations and turns her life takes. The director has done a superb job of not letting the honesty and naivety of the protagonist seem fake. The movie has passion and it provokes numerous intense emotions in you as you sit through the most depressing musical you have seen, ever.

The movie uses a shaky camera and this lends a great effect to the whole film. I read that many critics wrote this movie off as a cynical shock-opera. But I disagree. Anything that can unleash such acute emotions in viewers is a work of art for me.

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