Customer Review

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Educated and Entertained., 22 Jan. 2010
This review is from: Carla's Song (Director's Cut) [DVD] (DVD)
I watched Ken Loach's "Kes"(69) many years ago, and was mightily impressed. I still chuckle at the memory of the football scene. It was probably the first film that awoke a social conscience in me. I remember wanting to put on a flat cap, shout ecky thump and head north to where the real men lived. Remarkably the evergreen Loach is still at it, even though he qualified for his free bus pass some time ago. He has always been politically engaged and has sought to educate us about political conflicts. In the case of "Carla's Song"(98), it was about the civil war in Nicaragua.

The film is a rather flimsy story of love between a rebellious Glasgow bus driver, played by Robert Carlyle, and Carla a Nicaraguan woman trying to escape from the horrors of her past. The two slowly try to build a relationship, but this is constantly hampered by Carla's past experiences. I am reminded of words from the Bob Dylan song "Tangled up in Blue". "Then all the while I was alone, the past was close behind". Carlyle decides that the only way to excise the demons is to take Carla back to her homeland, and try to find the answers to haunting questions. This puts them into the danger zone as they seek Carla's family and an old lover. We head to a bittersweet finale. Will true love win the day?

As a love story the film does not quite work for me. The relationship is a little contrived and unlikely. The story itself lacks any real structure and is just a means for Loach to fall back on his common themes of politics gone sour, and mans inhumanity to man. Robert Carlyle is excellent in the lead role. That solid American actor Scott Glenn turns up improbably in the guise of an ex CIA man now batting for the other side. He even picks up a gun for the cause, which reminded me of his role in the western "Silverado". I just had to get some reference to my beloved westerns in! The film does contain some nice scenes, most notably when Carlyle takes Carla on a trip to the hills above Loch Lomond in his double decker bus.

But the love story takes second place to the politics. Franklin D Roosevelt supposedly said in 1939 of the Nicaraguan dictator Somoza, who was perceived to be anti communist, "He may be a son of a bitch, but he is our son of a bitch". The quote has often been used for those that back unjust causes for misguided reasons. The US backed the Contras who were the last struggling embers of the Samoza days, thus prolonging an agonising conflict. In 1984 they were taken to the world court in the Hague where they were ordered to pay 17 billion dollars as compensation for illegal military intervention. I am not being political here, merely stating the facts. Mr Loach has, through the medium of film, made me much more aware of what actually took place in Nicaragua. Politics and films do not always mix in the wrong hands, but in the hands of Loach it works perfectly. He wears his heart on his sleeve as they say. I was both educated and entertained. A happy mix. Recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

Be the first person to comment on this review.

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
 


Review Details

Item

Reviewer


Location: Wiltshire, England

Top Reviewer Ranking: 109