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Flash Movie Review: Twice Born

There could be a raging storm with uncontrollable rain crying down, flooding the ground. An elevator stops between floors and the passengers are stuck in place for a couple of hours. A kitchen chair being moved accidentally scratches the tiled floor, where the edges of the slashed part are rough and jagged. With any of these scenarios there are some people who can find something positive to say about the circumstances. You may have heard it referred to as “every cloud has a silver lining.” I am not one of those individuals; in fact, I am as close to opposite as one can be. Do not get me wrong, I admire people who try to find something positive to say about troubling situations. These people would be called optimists; a word I do not have in my vocabulary. Because of this I was curious about the story in this dramatic romantic movie. Penelope Cruz (Blow, Volver) played Gemma, a mother who decided to take her son Pietro, played by Pietro Castellitto (Don’t Move, Love & Slaps), to Sarajevo. It was the place of his birth and where his father had died. The trip would stir up old memories in Gemma of the chaotic time when she fell in love with the photographer Diego, played by Emile Hirsch (Speed Racer, Milk). The strongest part of this film festival nominated movie was Penelope’s acting. I felt she gave a rich and layered performance that kept me interested in her character. At first I thought it was an odd choice to have Emile as her love interest, but it worked in a carefree childlike way. Where the weakness came in had to do with the multiple stories that jumped back and forth in time. It became too much to track and keep up with the story lines. The other issue I had with this film was the poor script. I found it trite, going for cheap emotional shots instead of letting the characters grow and develop. The character Gojco, played by Adnan Haskovic (Body Complete, Sevday za Karima), was interesting to me but I could not tell you much about his motivations. The Bosnian war was used as a backdrop I felt to heighten the aspects of the romance. I wish I could find a silver lining with this movie but it was not good enough to overcome my pessimistic nature. There were multiple scenes that included Italian and Bosnian dialog with English subtitles.


2 stars

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