Hideous Kinky
By: Shaun

Wonder into the exotic realm of Marrakech, the year is 1972, and an eager British women journey’s with her two you daughters wanting to explore herself and flee the appalling truth, which is her husband’s affairs. She laments her losses, then heads off to that mysterious land in search for a new and free life, one with no borders or restrictions, where she can grasp the concept of being loose. Well her wishes do come true but she is in for an adventure that is a bit too much to handle, in this imaginative and refreshing film with the best cinematography since "Kundun". This movie did not really have any point to it, there is no applicable plot that has any meaning, I would like to think of it as a character study and a woman’s soul search that is interesting to watch. The whole scenery was magnificent, from the desert sand, to the bungalows in which people dwelled, the camel’s and carnivals, all these aspects were very intriguing and made the film a worthy one. A smart move for Kate Winslet in taking this role of the adventurous mom, she did not get paid too much and did not make any huge Hollywood movies after her massive hit "Titanic", she abridged her choice for this role by simply saying, "I needed to keep my sanity". Well once again she proves what a great actress lies in her, this movie is filled with emotions and spirituality, teaching morality through the eyes of Moroccans, we get a taste of culture and foreign lands. Plus we get to hear two Jefferson Airplane songs, "White Rabbit" and "Somebody To Love", we do bump into the occasional hippie here and there but nothing that concentrates on that matter. The natives personality is mixed, some are nice and very welcoming, while others are obnoxious and despicable, we meet all kind of interesting people which spice the film up, and that is what is good here, the interesting people that keep the story alive. This movie is also about realizing what you cannot have or obtain, what you want but are denied because sacrifices must be made for love, it shows the truth in human emotions. One of those stories that you feel is real and true to life. Although after so many adventures the film becomes a bit prolonged we never lose the sense of the characters wanting to be free.

        Julia (Kate Winslet), after being cheated on by her husband, who is a rich poet, moves out from the depressing cold pits of London, into the hot desert of Marrakech, where she is looking for her soul and some answers. She takes her two daughter along, Bea (Bella Riza) and Lucy (Carrie Mullan), both girls play their age beautifully. Julia has no money and the closest thing she has to a job is selling sowed dolls in the markets, which is not very lucrative, her ex-husband rarely sends her any money, if ever, but Julia is still full of bliss. She loves the background and the people, the heat, the lively animated land she lives in, she is happy to be free and traveling to various places. Lucy resembles her mother not only it traits but in personality as well, she fully puts faith and trust in her, not caring about the foolish antics she plays out to feel younger. Bea on the other hand is different, she wants to be normal and go to school, she is ashamed when her mother acts like a child, she wants a designated shelter instead of hopping from place to place, but she does have a free spirited side as well.

        As the movie opens Julia is having a nightmare about her daughter missing, running away and vanishing into thin air, this brings a point, that she does not want to apply discipline for her daughter, rather she wants them to do what they want and be free. Julia believes they are old enough to make decisions on their own now, but the fact that there is sincerity in her voice as she searches Julia still feels that she is the mom of her daughter and no one else. For instance when Bea runs away to a orphanage for mentally challenged Moroccan kids under the wing of a Jesus Christ freak and Mormon, she assists the lady in serving food and teaching the children manners. When Julia and Lucy find Bea in the orphanage, Julia is outraged at the lady for making Bea think she is her mother, Julia grabs Bea’s face and shouts "She is not your mother, I am!".

        Bilai (Saīd Taghmaoui) is the achrobat Moroccan native who falls for Julia, although he himself is broke and in poverty he attempts to assist his love all he can. His character was one that you cannot hate, he is always giving what he has to see his peers and loved ones smile, goes out of his way to bring food and money, even risks his life for Julia to find her salvation. Their romance was nicely shot, we felt the compassion and emotions that these two characters were experiencing, and it was nice to know that Julia and Bilal can rely on each other when the times are rough.

        Well the performances from the cast was great, especially Winslet, and the film did have some breakthrough moments of aggression and hostility that proved it to be real, the topic was smart and I love the British accents they used. Oh, and we get to see Winslet’s chest (for guys, it is worth admission price alone). So if you are in the mood for something different and innovational, a story that will not make you feel angst toward your ticket purchase, you can certainly check out "Hideous Kinky", although I am still confused about the title’s meaning.

GRADE: B    

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Copyrighted by Joe "Buscemifan" SoriaŠ 1999.