Life Goes On

Film

Drama

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Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>1</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>4</span>/5
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Time Out says

Tue Mar 8 2011

This ill-disciplined saga about a moneyed British-Asian family coming to terms with the death of a matriarch should really have been called ‘Life Goes On and On and On and On…’. Debut writer-director Sangeeta Datta mercilessly stretches every scene to breaking point, which not only serves to emphasise the pallid script and a clutch of performances so wooden you could fashion a fleet of Spanish galleons from them, but makes you lose sight of who or what the the film is supposed to be about. The story of a father ceding his wealth to his daughters echoes ‘King Lear’ – we know this because characters quote chunks of it apropos of nothing. But literary ambitions aside, the central drama is consistently stymied by flashbacks, dreams, inner monologues and even musical interludes, all of which display the aspirational, soft-focus whimsy of a mid-morning lifestyle programme. You can admire its total lack of cynicism, but you’ll be less forgiving of its lack of filmmaking artistry.
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Release details

UK release:

Fri Nov 19, 2010

Duration:

120 mins

Cast and crew

Director:

Sangeeta Datta

Screenwriter:

Sangeeta Datta

Cast:

Sharmila Tagore, Girish Karnad, Om Puri

Users say

0
<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:6
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|15
1 person listening
shs

I have seen the movie. Timeout's comment is plain stupid. To me the movie was excellent

sanket

its a superb movie, after watching movie, someone can not forget all characters, they leave you a catchy image of each character in your mind for long time, best non-bollywood movie, wow, must watch

sanket

its a superb movie, after watching movie, someone can not forget all characters, they leave you a catchy image of each character in your mind for long time, best non-bollywood movie, wow, must watch

Laura B

I've just come back from seeing this, my head filled with the rich colours and poignant music. I felt the soft-focus sunshine and flowers captured perfectly the nostalgia of remembering a loved one who has passed away. I also thought it portrayed London beautifully, with glorious shots of Hampstead Heath and night-time Thameside. There was a little wooden acting by a couple of them, including some who perhaps didn't have native English intonation, and a delightfully ironic line, 'that'll be the end of RADA for you,' but on the whole it was very pleasant viewing and touched on issues faced by families in all cultures.

Alen

I see Derek Malcom of evening standard gave a *** and said that this is the best non-bollywood Indian film this year

Bev_lee

Tragedy happens to rich families as well as poor, it's a leveller. This review starts from a position of inverted snobbery and seems to miss what the film is trying to do. This is about a man who has lost everything in the partition in his home country and has come to England and made his fortune here again, but as well as the wealth, has become set in his ways and views; it's an important look at bigotry towards other religions and pregnancy out of wedlock, and how these views can slowly change. There are some beautiful scenes reminiscent of Merchant Ivory, like the Howards End style bluebells. The film manages to fuse a lyrical sweetness and softness of Indian filmmaking with something very day to day and British. It is not a perfect film, and there are some clunky lines, but overall it is elegiac, dignified, very moving, and an accomplished debut by a new director on a shoestring budget. I really liked it when I saw it at the Tongues On Fire film fest, as did Andrew Marr when he interviewed the director on radio 4, and I don't think it deserves such a slating. Hopefully the public will go and see it and make up their own mind, and not trust this guy!

frank

Is it me, or are all these comments suspiciously similar in tone and technique? i've not seen this, but I don't take kindly to PR companies lining up to attack someone just because they didn't like their movie. so i'll give it one star anyway.

Damayanti

This is quite an extraordinary review. Actually the word 'review' is generous. It's an attack on a small independent movie that does not have any degree of journalistic professionalism. He completely misses the point of the movie and the kinds of people the story is about. Sorrow comes in all shapes and sizes, it affects British moneyed asians just as much as it does the cornershop owner in Southhall, and the sorrow from one incident can trigger memories of a sorrow from another part of a person's life. Hence the flashbacks. The movie touches on a lot of themes that are relevant for British Asians today as well as everyone else. Perhaps Mr. Jenkins should stick to reviewing movies with less nuance and more in-your-face storytelling. As for TimeOut, perhaps a little more careful scanning on its part before publishing such an astonishingly unprofessional piece of writing?

Ellie

Life Goes On is a beautiful independent film that overleaps all expectation. I cannot believe that David Jenkins' review has been approved by Time Out. It is unacceptable that a write up with such little journalistic value can pass as a review these days. As an artist myself, I worry for the future. Reviews and press coverage are important parts of an artist's growth, whether complimentary or critical. But this is NOT A REVIEW!! And those of us making films, music, theatre or art should stand against vindictive writing from the likes of such writers of this world. Mr Jenkins: it is your job to understand the language of cinema, regardless of whether you are 'into' a film or not. Try and understand your work better. Perhaps you would have preferred it if this was another Asian comedy! I hope readers ignore this wasteful and verbose writer. If you are looking for something new, something beyond the fields of run of the mill stories, Life Goes On is an emotional and evocative film that made me see my position in British society more clearly.

Ellie

Life Goes On is a beautiful independent film that overleaps all expectation. I cannot believe that David Jenkins' review has been approved by Time Out. It is unacceptable that a write up with such little journalistic value can pass as a review these days. As an artist myself, I worry for the future. Reviews and press coverage are important parts of an artist's growth, whether complimentary or critical. But this is NOT A REVIEW!! And those of us making films, music, theatre or art should stand against vindictive writing from the likes of such writers of this world. Mr Jenkins: it is your job to understand the language of cinema, regardless of whether you are 'into' a film or not. Try and understand your work better. Perhaps you would have preferred it if this was another Asian comedy! I hope readers ignore this wasteful and verbose writer. If you are looking for something new, something beyond the fields of run of the mill stories, Life Goes On is an emotional and evocative film that made me see my position in British society more clearly.

Mike

Is this a review? Where is your journalistic criticism? Explain your negative response please! I saw this film at a special screening last year where audiences were moved to tears. Panning between past and present, private and political, the Indian and the British, life and death, memory and reality: Life Goes On is a multilayered and detailed examination of one family's grief. And we can identify with this loss. It's a universal theme which this film explores in it's full cinematic scope. Does David Jenkins expect every Asian story to be about corner shops, local chippys and Southall curry? With naturalistic performances from some of India's leading actors as well as some bright British newcomers, this is a thought provoking and emotional film coming from first time Director Sangeeta Datta. Shattering the light hearted comedy stereotype that British Asian cinema has adopted over the last 10 years, she emerges as a refreshingly original, beautiful and reflective film maker, fully capable of voicing the serious concerns of the diaspora. I highly recommend watching this movie!

Meera

Is Time Out giving people the wrong jobs? Mr.Jenkins seems to be on an agenda to grind a small independent film under his heel, This doesn't read like review but like someone shooting off without taking his job very seriously. I have seen the film and found it a very emotional and residual film. It has made me reassess relationships in a very poignant manner. The film has been on a long festival circuits, won best feature awards (even the audience award at London Indian Film Festival) rates 7.3 on IMDB and a three star in the Empire review. London critics have said the film is "intelligent, perceptive and very good acting" and the Sight and Sound carries a detailed review of the film. I loved the film and would urge others to ignore this irresponsible reviewer and watch the film. I know many friends are waiting to watch and FB is loaded with such positive reviews and audience response.

Alex

Your review is nothing more than a personal attack on an up and coming first time director. This review should be titled "The moans of an incompetent reporter". You sound like a bad tempered, jealous child. As for the film, I would be inclined to agree with 'Empire's' review - a healthy 3 stars. 'Calcuttatube' give a much more proffesional and well rounded review of the quality i would expect from 'Timeout'. You remind me of the character 'Stan' that eminem's created. You sound like an obsessed, bitter, idiot. In other words you seem to be launching a personal vendetta here due to unknown, possibly personal, issues. Grow up and help the british industry out - you twit!

Alex Rayden

Timeout is usually a reliable source but this has got to be the worst review I've ever read. It fails to see the art and skill involved in this film, with synthesising so many complex and, until now, avoided ideas in the diaspora film genre- from Bengali migrant culture, specific generational gaps, the scars left from partition to family loss. It is horribly transparent that the writer is using a bravely made debut film, with much pathos, thought and critical acclaim from elsewhere, as quick expedient to gain recognition. I am all for slating when it is deserved, but not for the sake of creating controversy or getting reader hits. I would strongly advise trying to understand the film before wasting your own and our time writing such vacuous, unwarranted and frankly ridiculous reviews. Stop giving TimeOut a bad name.

Alex Rayden

Timeout is usually a reliable source but this has got to be the worst review I've ever read. It fails to see the art and skill involved in this film, with synthesising so many complex and, until now, avoided ideas in the diaspora film genre- from Bengali migrant culture, specific generational gaps, the scars left from partition to family loss. It is horribly transparent that the writer is using a bravely made debut film, with much pathos, thought and critical acclaim from elsewhere, as quick expedient to gain recognition. I am all for slating when it is deserved, but not for the sake of creating controversy or getting reader hits. I would strongly advise trying to understand the film before wasting your own and our time writing such vacuous, unwarranted and frankly ridiculous reviews. Stop giving TimeOut a bad name.