Monday, 6 June 2011

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All That Glitters [Review]


Opinion: B-

What could have been an effective coming-of-age tale of two young girls in search of a lifestyle full of all the glitz and glamour, is hindered by an over emphasis on each influential encounter without a fluent flow to connect all the dots. Despite having a more serious overtone towards the end, the drama should have really kicked in earlier to rope the audience into conviction. Nevertheless, it's an adequate effort that attempts to undermine the adolescence of an upbeat vibrant Paris lifestyle.


Ely and Lila are like two sisters. They have known each other since childhood, share everything together and have always been dreaming of another life. They live in the same suburb, ten minutes from Paris. Today, Ely st Lila do not want to be ten minutes of their lives. Small muddles in big lies, they will do everything to try to penetrate a world that is not theirs or possible to them. But all that glitters...


Billed as a comedy, I didn't find myself giggling much to All That Glitters but it is adjourned to subjectivity. I could be the one having a poor sense of Parisian teenage humour, this I have to declare for the record. Like most others, we look elsewhere when there isn't much fun.

There's the chitter chatter sessions that constantly take place between our two young female protagonists Ely (Géraldine Nakache) and Lila (Leïla Bekhti), and their chemistry as BFFs could very well pass off as that of two close sisters. "Are you sisters?", this can be heard for a couple of times throughout the film.

There is a very loose grasp on the pacing of the film from the start, and it seems to go on senseless dealings as we follow the two trying to break into the world of adulthood. Or so it seems until later proven otherwise.

Lila is bent on a lifestyle full of glitz and glamour (imagine Paris Hilton), so much that she seems to always be leading the both of them into coerced scenarios and opportunities that they really shouldn't deserve. After all, we're introduced to a fine pair of pals who finds pleasure in their mutual private jokes involving the mimicking of a peacocks and chanteuse moments of Celine Dion.

They're made for each other, friendship forever.

But growing up is a must, a necessity for all of us that we cannot escape. Neither can Ely and Lila. They are crude to strangers, refuse to budge when they occupied benches meant for parents with children, perform frequent illegal dashes to escape the taxi meters' wrath. They are like what most adults think of teenagers - trouble.

But this is not about them going astray, it's a test of how much they treasure all things dear to them.

Friendship is one, a major one. We begin seeing strains on Ely and Lila's relationship as Lila becomes infatuated with a crazed illusion of glitz and glamour. The girls' stance on their family, and especially how they view their parents and family background. Ely's father is a taxi driver, but a loving and benign father. Yet Ely feels ashamed of his cab picking her up after her hangouts.

It's exactly what most (if not every) teenager goes through.

These would have been worthy film material if not for the restless stance adopted for the majority of the film. The absorbing drama only takes place late into the film's running time and it feels somewhat a little too late. If only there's a firmer focus to put everything into action sooner, this film would have reaped a lot more benefits especially for the younger audience.

All That Glitters isn't the perfect growing up saga film for the younger ones to indulge in, but it is a relatively good take set within an urbanised Paris sporting an americanised culture that reflects much on today's youth.


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