Mixed films at Cinequest – “Mixed Kebab”, “Love, Wrinkle Free” & “Forgetting the Girl”

Yesterday I saw three films at Cinequest.

I began at the San Jose REP to see Mixed Kebab which presents the story of a young Belgian Turk, Ibrahim, as he tries to juggle his homosexuality with societal expectations before an arranged marriage. Meanwhile his brother’s trouble making leads him to religious extremism after he lands in jail and a local copwatch run by the mosque recruits him, and his love interest Kevin tags along with prodding from his mother to get into a relationship. When Ibrahim travels to Turkey to meet his bride to be he brings Kevin along for support and the inevitable cultural clash emerges as Ibrahim is forcefully outed and blackmailed. While the visuals and acting were fine, Mixed Kebab was a somewhat cliche story that is pretty obvious before it unfolds with only slight variations. While I appreciated the multiculturalism of Belgian gay life as it relates to a Turkish minority and the diaspora, the films writing felt underdeveloped and I left neither impressed nor feeling like I wasted my time. My reaction in one word: meh.

Next I saw Love, Wrinkle Free the story of a husband and wife in Goa as the husband tries to nuture professional aspirations in a start up selling edible underwear while his wife tries to avoid the reality of aging as her church choir seeks a more youthful presence. Further complicating their lives is a new pregnancy and how their adopted daughter reacts along with how a start up idea and a new relationship with an attractive aspiring photographer. While this one started on a good note centering around the start up story line, it got more jumbled as it introduced other side stories which weren’t well developed enough nor logical enough to fit well. What began as a promising comedy from an unconventional perspective slowly became more and more kitschy and absurd. If you like mindless comedy then you’ll enjoy this, but I found the kitsch a bit too much for me.

The last film of the evening I saw was Forgetting the Girl, a psycho drama about a photographer trying to forget the death of his sister through his interactions with girls in the present. It begins with an almost sweet tone of a socially inept nerd trying to get over his awkwardness which eventually sneaks up on the audience until you’re squirming in your seat. Based on the audible reactions of the audience I was not the only surprised with where this went. And I left the theater thoroughly creeped out (Mom was too). Definitely not the type of film I would normally choose to see as I’m not the biggest horror fan, but it was well executed as well as visually engaging, and I could easily appreciate that.

One Response to “Mixed films at Cinequest – “Mixed Kebab”, “Love, Wrinkle Free” & “Forgetting the Girl””
Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] • Front Row Jason   • The Urv […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: