Fahrije (Yllka Gashi) is dealing with several challenges each day. Firstly Fahrije is concerned for her husband, who has been missing since the war in Kosovo. She questions each day if he is alive somewhere, or worse, dead. She desperately attempts to find answers relating to her husband but struggles to find peace to the question within her heart.
Fahrije lives with her two children and her father-in-law, who all refuse to move forward in life. They consistently debate with Fahrije and the choices she makes for her family. Filled with determination to move forward (no matter the news of her husband), Fahrije is part of a woman’s group and soon ventures into a small business opportunity to earn money for her family. But even this task isn’t going to be easy. Many people lie and gossip about her, while others in the community are quite judgemental as she tries to make a living and ultimately find peace in life.
For those who are not aware, Hive is a dramatic film. It’s shot beautifully, and by this, I’m not referring to landscape or bright colours. The visuals are stunning when it comes to the many moments which are either dramatic or heartfelt for our leads. The director has made a major focus on capturing facials and expressions even in moments that have no major amounts of dialogue.
Performances are strong here, and again, like the visuals; it’s all wonderful to see, especially from the lead actress Yllka Gashi as Fahrije, who really can’t be faulted right from the start. It was easy to get invested in this woman’s journey. Viewers will easily have compassion on her based on the challenges she faces in all areas, whether dealing with family members or trying to succeed at being a provider.
As for pacing, Hive is certainly a film that does move slowly, and the plot outline generally seems basic, but I found myself engaged with this film all the way, and I had to know the finale. I was eager and supportive for the lead to succeed in her new venture, and I was waiting to find out if Fahrije would ever know where her husband was. Once again, the lead performance certainly carries this film. I can’t deny that the story seems basic on paper, but thanks to many highly dramatic moments with unknown outcomes, it’s all pleasing to watch.
Overall, this is a highly dramatic film filled with an unpredictable finale. Hive is shot wonderfully and the filmmaker captures facials, emotions, unsettling situations and family drama. With a simple plot that moves slowly, the film still managed to secure my investment for the entire duration. I had to know the answers to the unknowns this film introduced, plus the top performance from Yllka Gashi was a downright knockout. I was left feeling many emotions as the credits rolled, including how impressed I was by this dramatic feature.