Hideous Kinky [DVD] 
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Early 1970s – escaping grey London and a failed relationship, Julia takes her two daughters, Lucy and Bea, to Morocco in search of adventure. Lucy and Bea run free in the colour and life of Marrakech, but the city offers less freedom to a penniless mum seeking the meaning of life. Julia’s struggle is transformed by the charming Bilal who captivates them all. But her freedom has its price and she is forced to recognize what she has learnt about herself and her search for happiness. Starring internationally acclaimed actress Kate Winslet (Titanic, The Reader) and directed by award–winning Gillies MacKinnon.
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Hideous Kinky journeys back to the early 1970s to Marrakesh, that hippy mecca for everyone from Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix to Gillies MacKinnon, the director of this movie. Here you'll find one nice but confused middle-class young woman escaping the daily grind of a drab London with her two young daughters in tow. Whereas Esther Freud's book was told from the younger girl's perspective, the film-script places Julia centre-stage as she searches for what she describes wistfully as "the annihilation of the ego".
Though fresh from her Titanic experience, Kate Winslet is no drippy hippy, bringing a refreshing feistiness to her role and looking fetching swathed in diaphanous layers. As her two daughters, Bella Riza (Bea, the wide-eyed younger one) and Carrie Mullan (Lucy, the sensible one) are brilliant discoveries--unselfconscious, charmingly quirky and enjoying a camaraderie that belies their difference in characters. Completing the family unit is Julia's lover, the endearingly unreliable Bilal (a fiery performance from Saïd Taghmaoui). When the money runs out, their adventures begin and the resilience and practicality of the girls is contrasted throughout with the dreaminess of their mother, her sense of duty vying with her quest for self-discovery. Visually, it's a veritable feast as we're pitched from the colour and cacophony of the market-place to the dusty harshness of the mountains. And that elusive title--which is never explained in the film--is in fact a phrase coined by the girls as a term of approbation.--Harriet SmithSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
This is a thoughtful and thought-provoking story, totally lacking the car chases and mindless violence of Hollywood blockbusters. Aging hippies will find the period and location nostalgic, and the soundtrack is a good reminder of the early 1970s.
It is not entirely free of formulaic directing, though. The nude swimming scene seems quite untrue to the place and time of the story, and seem to have been put in purely because modern European audiences like that sort of thing.
All in all, an enjoyable evening's entertainment, which doesn't preach and doesn't pretend there are easy answers to life's problems.
It's a noisy film, so not one to watch when someone's sleeping in the next room. Plenty of ululating and drum bashing and market shouts, and a soundtrack that's sort of ethnic and contemporary folksy.
I have had much pleasure in rewatching this since it was released and I have yet to tire of it.
Here, Kate Winslet plays Julia, a twenty five year old young mother of two children, nine year old Bea, stunningly acted by Bella Riza, and her younger sister, Lucy, charmingly played by Carrie Mullen. They abandon their structured, staid life in London, when Julia decides to leave their father to go to Marrakech in Morocco, then the capitol of the disaffected, in search of spiritual enlightenment.
Taking her children, Julia goes on an adventure, an adventure to which Lucy, the younger of her two daughters, takes to almost immediately. Nine year old Bea, on the other hand, begins to yearn for a more "normal", structured life. Julia, however, will have none of it. Living in a Moroccan slum with her girls, she romanticizes their existence.
Julia becomes involved with Bilal, a street performer of sorts, who looks out for them. Wonderfully acted by Said Taghemaoui, Bilal charms Julia and her daughters. He cannot, however, support them, and they cannot support themselves. This becomes clear as they begin a rag tag journey into the Moroccan country side.
Sooner, rather than later, reality sets in. The adventure wears thin on Bea who becomes estranged from her mother. The harsh reality of every day life confronts Julia, who ultimately realizes that traipsing around Morocco just puts her young daughters at risk. Unfortuntely, this realization does not occur to her until she almost loses Bea to illness. It is then that Bilal steps up to home plate and gives them the means to return. They leave Marrakech to begin their journey home, taking with them enough memories to last a lifetime.
This is a wonderful movie with exceptional cinematography. A virtual travelogue of Moroccan life, it is a visual feast that is sure to delight those who have a hankering for faraway, exotic places and a thirst for adventure
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