Evaluate: Ben Sharrock’s ‘Limbo’ is One of many Finest Refugee Movies But
by Alex Billington
April 30, 2021
“I can’t be myself again dwelling.” I would like to jot down about this movie as a result of it is the perfect movie I’ve seen in 2021 to date, and I have been desirous about it on a regular basis since watching. Limbo is a darkish comedy in regards to the refugee expertise within the UK written & directed by British filmmaker Ben Sharrock, and it was initially imagined to premiere on the 2020 Cannes Movie Competition final 12 months (earlier than it was cancelled). As an alternative, it premiered on the Toronto, San Sebastian, Zurich, and London Movie Festivals within the fall, and it has already been incomes rave evaluations. I am so glad I lastly caught up with it. Limbo can be my prime decide for the Palme d’Or if Cannes had occurred, actually really. I truthfully wish to drop the m phrase and name this a masterpiece. I cherished it a lot. It is good, there’s not a factor to vary about it. It even sticks the touchdown – in a severely exhilarating approach.
It is nearly unimaginable to explain the movie in writing and do it justice, as a result of a part of the magic of Limbo is that every little thing is completely crafted for the display. It has a little bit of a Wes Anderson look & really feel, however with British sensibilities as a substitute. It is set on a fictional “distant Scottish island”, and the truth that is it just a few unknown place, can be a part of what makes it so enigmatic. Limbo introduces us to Omar, performed by Amir El-Masry, a younger Syrian refugee who has fortunately made his solution to the UK whereas his dad and mom cover out in Turkey. However now he is caught in “limbo” within the UK refugee program – together with a handful of different refugees, together with a person from Afghanistan, and some others from Africa. They attempt to make the perfect of their dismal scenario, however there’s not a lot to do. They are not allowed to work, they cannot get in any bother, they only have to stay on this dreary city on this dreary island for months, years even, till they’re hopefully, lastly granted asylum.
There have been many good movies made to date in regards to the refugee expertise within the western world, a lot of them heartbreaking dramas. Or tales about how laborious it’s to try to make a brand new dwelling in a international land and survive (see: His Home). Lots of them additionally remind us they take these perilous journeys to distant lands as a result of it is even worse to remain dwelling. Limbo is without doubt one of the first movies I’ve seen that tries, with very dry black comedy, to make gentle of their scenario. Or not less than make enjoyable of it. The humor is hilariously spot on, even too spot on typically, mocking how the UK offers with and treats refugees, and what number of refugees are a lot, a lot smarter than most individuals assume. Which isn’t shocking. However a part of this movie’s brilliance is the way in which it handles that awkward humor and permits us to sympathize with Omar by means of the comedy. There’s nothing to giggle at about his scenario, however we’re given an opportunity to giggle, which makes a world of distinction.
Except for limitless ready, the movie’s narrative is principally about Omar attempting to regulate to this new place and hopefully make a brand new dwelling there if all of it works out. There is a spectacularly emotional second on the finish that’s the fruits of all that the movie has been main as much as and commenting on – the liberty for one to specific themselves really and freely. Even in a brand new land, the place “freedom” is supposedly probably the most priceless factor, Omar nonetheless cannot be really free to specific himself truthfully. He used to have this freedom in Syria, however that went away, and he does not wish to lose himself eternally. The movie’s final message appears to be a really potent, very emotional reminder that we’re not seeing refugees for who they really are: stunning, sensible, advanced, proficient folks identical to me otherwise you. Similar to every other White individual. And the way in which the movie brings us to this revelation is with a full serving to of coronary heart and compassion, topped with some good-hearted humor.
Ben Sharrock’s Limbo is pitch good filmmaking, it hits each word. The cinematography by Nick Cooke is ideal, the performances by the whole forged are good; the whole idea is exclusive and Sharrock brings it to life on display completely. As cliche because it could be, I’ve to say how glad I’m that this movie exists, and was made, and could be seen by everybody quickly. The attractive world of cinema is that significantly better with Limbo in it.
Alex’s Ranking: 10 out of 10
Comply with Alex on Twitter – @firstshowing / Or Letterboxd – @firstshowing