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(Today’s NaPoWriMo prompt was for a poem about something that takes time, like falling in love, for example. It’s also fittingly paired with a movie that felt longer than it was.)


Love at first sight is a storybook rarity,
Meant to give real life a sorry disparity.
No, love occurs with much more regularity
Born out of patience, frustrations, and time.

Waiting is always considered austerity,
Wading through troubles with fresh solidarity,
Yet it is waiting that tests our sincerity
After the passion grows ashen with time.

Love is not love only born from prosperity,
Tested then bested by irregularity.
Months and then years offer startling clarity;
They are the mountain true romance will climb.

MPAA rating: Not Rated (should be PG-13)

Based on an Ann Patchett novel, Bel Canto flew under the radar last year with very little fanfare, making me think perhaps it was a diamond in the rough worth discovering. After watching it, I’d say it’s more of a nice piece of quartz that could have been shinier. Featuring a plot of revolutionary turmoil and classical music, Bel Canto just doesn’t foster enough interest to sustain its plot, even with strong performances from Julianne Moore and Ken Watanabe.

Moore plays an opera singer and Watanabe a Japanese businessman, who are both guests in a South American official’s mansion, only to become hostages when the entire complex is locked down by armed insurgents. The fear and terror of the situation gradually give way to a false sense of security as the weeks drag on, as the hostages begin to bond with their captors and unlikely romances are sparked.

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Bel Canto has some honestly powerful moments, such as a meaningful opera performance Moore’s character is compelled to give from a balcony. Likewise, the film’s climax is classically tragic in its inevitability, but, in dramatizing the protracted build-up due to the stubbornness of the rebels’ demands, the film just gets unfortunately dull.

Nevertheless, the message of peace and humanity between enemies has echoes of the much more powerful film Joyeux Noel, and there are quality performances here. It just takes a little patience to enjoy them.


Rank: Honorable Mention


© 2019 S.G. Liput
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