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(movie) House of Sand and Fog.

Discussion in 'Channel Zero' started by iloveboxcars, Apr 7, 2004.

  1. iloveboxcars

    iloveboxcars 12oz Royalty

    Joined: Jul 29, 2002 Messages: 20,506 Likes Received: 450
    The movie doesn't make much sense, but watch it just for Ben Kingsley's performance.

    There is a review below.

    Victoria Alexander

    With all our freedoms, we live in a society that shackles us with rules. Try slacking off on paying a speeding ticket. Ignore that IRS notice. See what happens if you don’t pay your mortgage.

    Recovering druggie Kathy Nicolo (Jennifer Connelly), who sometimes cleans houses, hasn’t bothered to open her mail since her husband wisely left her eight months ago. She is roused out of her catatonia when the sheriff turns up to evict her from her seaside bungalow for nonpayment of taxes.

    Kathy suddenly remembers that her father worked 30 years for this house! She owes the county $500. The county takes possession and quickly auctions off the property to a former Iranian air force colonel, Massoud Amir Behrani (Ben Kingsley). He pays a pittance for the rundown house. Behrani plans to move into the house with his wife Nadi (Shohreh Aghdashloo) and son Esmai (Jonathan Ahdout) eliminating his high rent, put up a widow’s walk so that there will be a sea view, and sell the house at it’s real value.

    Behrani has lied to his family about their financial circumstances. In order to find a suitable spouse for his daughter, Behrani mounted an elaborate façade. He pretended to work as a businessman while tolling away as a day laborer and in a convenience store. The ruse worked and he and his wife marry Soraya (Navi Rawat) off in a fancy wedding.

    Kathy goes to a lawyer (Frances Fisher) who commences a lawsuit against the county. Doesn’t the county owe Kathy money from the house’s equity? The screenwriters ignore this fact: Kathy moves to her car. She expects the county will return the new owner’s money, the Behranis will have to move out, and she will be given her house back. Lester (Ron Eldard), the deputy sheriff who served the eviction notice, feels sorry for her. He decides to help her. He is in a sexless marriage with two young children. They begin an affair and move to a friend’s empty cabin. He loses his mind over sex. He gets entangled in Kathy’s obsession to get back her house.

    Kathy’s estranged mother is coming for a visit and she wants the house back immediately. She does not take responsibility for instigating the mess she is in. She wants her house back! We do not sympathize with her. She is at fault and now should be dealing with the county. Instead, Kathy starts harassing Behrani and Nadi.

    A relative by marriage, married over 30 years, announced that he and his wife lost their house. His wife hid the notices, and did not pay, their mortgage for one year. She gave no explanation. The husband has accepted this. Somehow, he feels responsible. The family member asked my husband for financial help buying a new house. What would you do?

    Behrani will make a very handsome profit from selling the house. The county is to blame, not Behrani. Lawyers should be involved. Behrani is threatened by Lester. Behrani goes to the police and files a complaint. Kathy keeps turning up at the house. She forces Nadi to feel sorry for her. She makes a nuisance of herself. Lester recklessly throws away his career demanding, at gunpoint, that Behrani sign the house back to Kathy.

    The story improbably careens towards a sad and wasteful end. Is this actually what happened in the Andre Dubus III's novel? Didn’t anyone notice the silly contrivances and loose ends that hurl the story to its depressing, miserable conclusion?

    Connelly has admirably risen above her early career choices. Here she is able to express a slovenly seductive menace that warns us there is a troubled psyche ready to pounce on its victims. Kinglsey understands Behrani and textures his performance with conflict, rage, and finally, despair. Connelly and Kingsley are perfectly matched.

    Director Vadim Perelman shows a fine mastery in giving the film a high melodramatic atmospheric look that should have served a story told with more intelligence.
  2. effyoo

    effyoo Elite Member

    Joined: Sep 2, 2002 Messages: 4,703 Likes Received: 0
    Random Trivia.

    Ben Kingsley played Ghandi in that epic film. and he's a white guy.