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Movie Review: Where Do We Go Now?

May 25, 2012

Where Do We Go Now? – A Sony Pictures Classics’ Release

http://www.mongrelmedia.com/dvd/info.cgi?id=2104

Release Date: May 25th, 2012

Rated 14A for some language, drug content and mature themes

Running time: 98 minutes

Nadine Labaki (dir.)

Nadine Labaki (screenplay)

Jihad Hojeily (screenplay)

Rodney Al Haddid (screenplay)

Khaled Mouzannar (music)

Claude Baz Moussawbaa as Takla

Layla Hakim as Afaf

Nadine Labaki as Amale

Yvonne Maalouf as Yvonne

Antoinette Noufaily as Saydeh

Julian Farhat as Rabih

Ali Haidar as Roukoz

Kevin Abboud as Nassim

Petra Saghbini as Rita

Mostafa Al Sakka as Hammoudi

©Sony Pictures Classics.  All Rights Reserved.

Center: Amale (Nadine Labaki) in Where Do We Go Now?

Our reviews below:

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Where Do We Go Now? Review By John C.

**1/2 (out of 4)

The Lebanese musical drama Where Do We Go Now? was the surprise winner of the People’s Choice Award at last September’s Toronto International Film Festival, paving the way for a limited release in theatres.  Although it wouldn’t have been my personal choice to give it the top prize, this is still a pretty good little film from a country that is increasingly on the public’s radar.

Directed by Nadine Labaki, the film takes place in a small Lebanese village and has a few unique things to say about the clashes between religions.  The Catholics and Muslims often do their best to get along, but after a series of misunderstandings, religious tensions start to rise amongst some of the men.  It is ultimately up to the women to think of increasingly clever and sometimes totally stupid ways to distract them from fighting and desperately bring peace back to their quiet lives.  Aside from apparent comedy and some touching drama, perhaps the most surprising of the genres that the movie falls into is musical.  For me, the film is actually at its weakest during these seemingly random and usually silly interludes.

Although I have to recognize how much Where Do We Go Now? must have meant to the three big audiences that saw it at TIFF, it’s still a puzzle how it picked up the top prize at a festival where there were so many vastly superior films being screened.  But despite some outdated sexist stereotypes and an uneven tone throughout, this is still a unique little film with a few interesting things to say, that has clearly found a way of connecting to a certain type of audience.

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Where Do We Go Now? Review by Erin V.  

**1/2 (out of 4)

The Lebanese film Where Do We Go Now? seemingly came out of nowhere last September to win the TIFF People’s Choice Audience Award, beating out other films that went on to be nominated for – and in the case of The Artist win – Best Picture at the Oscars.  But it was not because this was a better film – not by a long shot.  In fact, I was surprised that after TIFF was said and done it had won the award.

The story of Where Do We Go Now? is simple.  In a small Lebanese village where both Christians and Muslims live, there is ample fighting amongst the men, while the women desperately work together to try to quell tensions.  Despite the seriousness, the film takes on a comedic tone throughout, and even has a few (kind of out of nowhere) musical numbers.  It is a fine film, in that I did find it to be interesting and certainly didn’t mind watching it, but its far from great, and oftentimes feels uneven.  Still, if you’re interested in foreign films, you might be curious to check this one out.

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Where Do We Go Now? Review by Nicole

*** (out of 4)

Winner of the TIFF 2011 People’s Choice Award, Where Do We Go Now? offers a unique look at some of the tension affecting both Christians and Muslims in the Middle East.  In a small Lebanese village, both Roman Catholics and Muslims live next to each other.  Unfortunately, the men fight over their religious differences, often resulting in death.  So the Catholic and Muslim women hatch a plan.  They invite a group of Ukrainian night club dancers to distract the men from fighting.  But when a tragedy strikes, the women come up with an ingenious solution to the religious conflict.

Where Do We Go Now? is an interesting film.  It has a few musical numbers, some comic relief and an important message about peace.  The film is well acted and has very little violence.  Instead of being depressing, it offers hope that one day, we’ll put our differences aside and just celebrate being human.

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Where Do We Go Now? Review by Maureen

*** (out of 4)

In September 2011, a unique little film from Lebanon surprised audiences by winning the TIFF People’s Choice Award.  The film, Where Do We Go Now? uses music, comedy and drama to tell the story of Catholic and Muslim families living side by side in a fictional Lebanese village.

The women work side by side, as do the men until a misunderstanding occurs and the men decide violence is the only solution.  Fortunately, the women think otherwise and do whatever they can to keep the peace.  There is a lot of heart and humour in Where Do We Go Now?  The characters are quirky yet believable and the musical numbers add a certain charm.

The overall result is a film that leads viewers to question the point of religious tensions between neighbours when we are all more similar than we are different.  Those who appreciate foreign film and have an interest in the subject of Middle Eastern religious conflict may want to check out Where Do We Go Now? in theatres.

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Where Do We Go Now? Review by Tony

*** (out of 4)

Where Do We Go Now? is a slice of life in an isolated Lebanese village where, as in Lebanon at large for centuries despite recent sectarian clashes, Christians and Moslems have lived in general harmony, particularly the women. The men however, are not always as accommodating, and a prank sets off a chain reaction that threatens the peace. The local imam and priest do what they can to smooth things over, but ultimately it is the women who come up with a cunning scheme to disarm the situation, with the help of several Ukrainian entertainers.

Where Do We Go Now? is a good film with a charming story that affirms the obvious fact that regardless of background or surroundings we are all just folks trying to get along. The only feature that didn’t appeal much to me was the inclusion of several musical numbers, though I suppose as in South Asian films they are to be expected.

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Consensus: The surprise winner of the People’s Choice Award at TIFF, Where Do We Go Now? is an interesting film from Lebanon that overcomes some arguably needless musical numbers with a hopeful message about peace between religions.  **3/4 (Out of 4)

One Comment leave one →
  1. Karen Braden permalink
    September 14, 2016 12:24 am

    I really enjoyed this Movie
    I like the Musical part also, This Movie has a meaning. And I like this.

    Like

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