ES (Elia Suleiman) is a filmmaker and writer who currently lives in Palestine. Due to personal reasons, ES decides to pack his things and travel around different cities to explore as well as hopefully launch his newest project.
As a character, ES enjoys being quite observant when it comes to those around him. Throughout the film, the character barely speaks a word. But no matter where ES visits or travels, he is always finding himself around situations which he enjoys viewing either up close or from afar. Some of the situations ES finds himself in can be quite humorous, quirky, random, serious, or even somewhat artistic. Frequently these situations also have a deeper meaning for him personally.
Not only does Elia Suleiman serve as the lead actor here, but he is also the director and writer of this film. As a plot, it is quite simple and something I have never really seen in cinema before. Watching a man travel around cities as he “watches others” is somewhat different, yet it still manages to obtain either laughs or deliver a heartfelt message. This film is undoubtedly not fast-paced and at many times it will require patience from its audience as some scenes take longer than one would expect. No matter what situation ES finds himself in, I found this film to be quite pleasing and found myself either laughing or smiling throughout this film.
The film has an outstanding audio track which is truly impressive. One example of this is when ES looks up at the sky and sees several jets flying overhead, or loud cars driving past while ES is trying to enjoy the view outside his apartment. Performances are also pleasing by the lead actor himself, but I certainly feel credit should go out to some of the side characters that ES interacts with as they deliver perfect timing through movement or the use of dialogue. Visually this is also great and I have no complaints about the style of filming. There are many aspects regarding the director’s filming style that felt fun and creative.
Overall, I found this film to be quite quirky and pleasing. It is a film that is unlike anything I have seen before as a man enjoys travelling around many cities and takes joy in observing those around him, even finding himself in many odd and yet funny situations. Elia Suleiman serves not only as lead actor but also as the film’s writer and director. After viewing the film, I am confident to say Elia Suleiman certainly has some talent and brings a fun movie which guarantees to bring a smile from its audience.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden