Mammoth was colossal; no pun intended. This 2009 Swedish film (another good one) was set in New York City, with actors Michelle Williams and Gael Garcia Bernal as the main characters of this tale. Although it ran at a much slower than usual pace, even by foreign film standards; I found it extremely easy connecting with it. Mammoth completely resonated with me; and I understood completely what the characters were going through. I don't remember the music/soundtrack very much, expect for perhaps 1 or 2 songs, and that lets you know that if a film can leave a lasting impression, even without compelling music, then it's a pretty darn good film. And this pretty darn good film made it to Jair's list of top favourite movies, yes sireee!
I loved the smooth transitions, and lovely cinematography throughout the film, which clearly painted a picture of the lifestyle each character, came from. I enjoyed also the gritty truth the writer and director Lukas Moodyssoon portrayed of different parts of the world; specifically of Thailand, because although it is alive with much beauty and simplicity, it can also be a sad, dark and lost society for people who enjoy paying pittances for pleasure, or in some cases abuses and uses for free. The acting by Jan David G.Nicdao who played Salvador was beyond exceptional and heart-warming and I found myself finding difficulty at holding back my tears.
What I disliked greatly however, was (and I know many male readers are shaking their heads now), the fact that Leo played by Gael Garcia Bernal, knew he was married and the sanctity it held and knew he had a child to top it off, to willingly cheat on his wife and family in Thailand, because the girl who couldn't even hold a proper conversation but just giggled and wanted to show him 'fun' was reason enough for him to forget all his morals, even without the a-a-a-al-alcohol! I also found it hilarious that Leo again was even considered a New Yorker for this role, because of his absolutely thick Spanish accent. I didn't feel as though Ellen played by Michelle Williams and Gael Garcia Bernal had a good connection or chemistry. It felt strained and not real to me, but I suppose to a Swede writer/director his accent was close enough to an American and his connection with his Thai mistress compelling enough to outweigh his wives' relationship.
I found that the underlying message and or questions of this film were: Who belongs here? Do you ever belong here? What will you sacrifice for the sake of a so-called better life? What is more important, money, fame, or the presence among those you love and who love you? All that glitters is not gold, and if you get that gold, will it indeed make you happy? How can you betray or forget about someone because you're put in different circumstances or environments? Who are your real friends? The debates and conversations based on this film are endless and the fact that it was able to evoke such strong emotions is why this film Mammoth was phenomenal! J