Friday, February 13, 2015

Two days and one night - Movie review

A Simple story set in a small town in France or Belgium (or wherever else) in Europe.

Solwal a company that manufacturers solar panels ( or whatever else) is facing stiff competition from cheaper ones from Asia. 

They need to run a business and decide they do not need 17 but only 16 people to carry on the work. Sandra who is about to return from her sick leave is the one chosen to be laid off. 
A vote on Friday influenced by the Foreman Jean-Marc has decided that the other 16 would choose between giving up their annual bonus or letting go of Sandra. 

Juliette and Sandra have asked Dumont the Boss to conduct a secret ballot so that the workers can choose how they want to deal with the situation. 
Sandra has the weekend that is two days and one night to convince her co-workers to give up their bonus, so she can keep her job which she now needs really badly.

It is indeed a simple story from a small town dramatized a little bit for the sake of story telling. But it is its universal appeal that has made it a big hit among the movies for the Oscar line up of 2014.

In about 1 hour and 35 minutes you traverse through ..........        

Cut throat capitalism facing off the Competition from China.
Devastating depression of the mind  combined with the crippling depression of the economic kind.  

 The brutal poverty of the working class aiding and abetting horrific poverty of the human  heart .
The dilemma between individual survival and collective compassion.

The thin lines that are increasingly blurring the definitions of       

Evil versus good 
Need versus greed 
Right versus wrong 
Hope versus  despair 
Individualism versus collectivism

It is a brutally honest analysis of the human condition that has gripped the post 2008 recession working class world over.

 Everybody has a need for that extra buck. That Annual bonus that would pay for the children’s education, for the furniture, for a renovation project, to keep up the temporary job and aspire for that classic oxymoron called the permanent job.
As the cast unfolds, many do believe that it could be their turn  next time. They have taken up a  second job  to brace themselves up for the eventuality.  

It is a dramatization of a dilemma that could well be a reality being played out everywhere. The fact that the movie is set in France/ Belgium, known for its egalitarianism and better rights for their workers is possibly a deliberate take on how labour class collectivism is slowly eroding away giving way to the Crassly competitive Anglo-saxon - American ethos of Hire and fire, and dog-eat-dog survival strategies across the globalized world   

A raw,  yet profound movie worth watching for every scene that has been so realistically depicted.  But it is the climax that grips you, transfixes and transports you to yet another world leaving you completely stupefied when the credits roll on. 
Like they say the proof of a good creative work is when its after effects linger on long after you are done with it.   

Marion Cotillard and the performance by the rest of the cast in Two days one night directed by Dardennes brothers amply reflects this. 



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