Film review: Fire (2021) by Aizhan Kassymbek

Up to now couple of years Kazakh cinema grew into probably the most thrilling cinematic landscapes, giving us treasured works coming from the likes of Adilkhan Yerzhanov (“A Darkish, Darkish Man”, “Yelow Cat” and “Ulbolsyn”), Yernar Nurgaliev (Sweetie, You Gained’t Imagine It”), Darezhan Omirbaev (“Poet”) or Bolat Kalymbetov (“Mukagali”). These movies have sadly brushed previous individuals who didn’t have an opportunity to attend the worldwide movie festivals, as barely any of them had its theatrical launch exterior of their geographical area.

“Fireplace” is screening at Black Movie International Festival of Independent Movies

The newcomer Aizhan Kassymbek is the title to recollect. Really, it’s a reputation that by some means rings a bell: Kassymbek is the daughter of Kanymbek Kassymbekov who hasn’t made that many movies throughout his lengthy profession (solely 5 between 1972-2008), however they managed to stay out for his or her humor and wit. To be honest, one couldn’t converse of the ‘inherited’ expertise since Kassymbek’s type isn’t similar to any of the filmmakers talked about above, together with her father. Her humor is heat and quaint, and probably the most sinister conditions are glimpsed at by way of barely pink-tinted glasses. This explains why so many terrible issues that occur to Tolik (Tulepbergen Baissakalov), the principle hero of her debut characteristic “Fireplace”, could be chewed and digested with relaxed curiosity in regards to the limits of human endurance.

Tolik will get continuously reminded that no good deed goes unpunished. Inside solely at some point he will get a bucketfull of nasty surprises sufficient to kill his spirit, and but he doesn’t let something carry him out of stability up-to-the-minute when the rich dad and mom of the boy who made his teenage daughter Saule (Adina Bazan) pregnant insult his household as grifters. He retains his anger inside, however lets it on the mini-van’s steering wheel and this complete frustration will explode manner later, when it’s actually all about life and dying. This occasion will give him power to lastly answer- and even hit again.

Nothing goes effectively for this working class man who has deserted his countryside life in hopes to ‘make it’ within the capital. Now, a few years after that life-changing step, conscious that this commerce wasn’t optimum, he’s doing his greatest to help his household by way of the courier work, delivering every day bread to native retailers. The belief that his paycheck can’t cowl the debt to collectors and buddies, to not point out to feed his rising household, makes him determined and on the identical time not very creative on learn how to earn extra and alter issues to higher.

Attributable to Kassymbek’s mild method to Tolik’s character and the refined humor that doesn’t let the story grow to be one of many darkish, drab dramas typical of the broader post-Soviet area, “Fireplace” stays very authentic in its method to 1 man’s hardships and his sluggish adaptation to the brand new actuality. She doesn’t solely present an excessive amount of compasion for Tolik, but additionally for every of the movie’s aspect characters. None of them is was a sufferer, and none of them is offered one-dimensionally. Even when there’s a small trace at somebody’s potential ‘greediness’, this modifications the second another person is in want. For example, Tolik’s closely pregnant spouse Altynai (Mansuk Antmuhanbetova) who beforehand had many concepts as to what a financial institution mortgage might contribute to the family, doesn’t solely attempt to assist with paying of household’s money owed by baking delicacies for small shops, she finds time to assist the neighbour along with her family and chidren as effectively.

“Fireplace” is just about about household and friendships, about robust (and wholesome) bonds that make one’s life simpler to dwell regardless of of all hardships. And about Salsa. The ending – so fantastic in its simplicity, boosts with new optimism and allow us to presume that Tolik might be simply fantastic. Chargeable for easing the overall environment can also be the brilliant pictures by the cinematographer Aigul Nurbulatova who was behind the digicam in Olga Korotko’s “Unhealthy Unhealthy Winter” that screened in Cannes’ ACID program in 2018. The reds and the yellows, and the flower-patterned wallpaper in Tolik’s kitchen carry up the temper in heaviest of moments.

The movie was shot by an virtually all-female crew which difficult issues a bit. Based on the director in an interview she gave to L’Officiel Singapore, it wasn’t solely troublesome to convincepeople from administrative departments to take her or the crew severely, there was additionally a common conviction that she couldn’t presumably be ‘certified’ attributable to her younger age. Identical to her quick movies, “Fireplace” is impressed by one of many 4 primary components.



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