Archive | 9:50 pm

Mammoth: The Film

3 Jun

The days of the mammoth are long gone, their lives only understood from what few remains can be found frozen in places like Siberia. What is the value of those remains; say the ivory from a long extinct mammoth tusk?

Sliding under the radar of the popular spotlight slides the film Mammoth. This is a film I recently watched one night as I was far from home in the Canadian arctic, not all that far from Siberia when you look at a map.

But geography aside, I was compelled to write about this film. Mammoth’s purpose is not to entertain you, but rather to move you, and move you it will. The story follows a successful young family living in Soho, New York, and a series of unexpected events that befall on them. Leo has been successful with a popular video game based web community and is leaving his family in New York to settle a business deal in Bangkok. Back in New York, daughter Jackie is spending more time with the nanny Gloria than with her mom, a busy surgeon at the hospital.

The film begins to focus on the lives of the husband, wife, nanny, and the nanny’s family back in the Philippines as they all drift into their own series of problems. Leo is experimenting with a lifestyle he is unfamiliar with, as his dealings are delayed and he heads to the beaches of Thailand to kill some time. While at home his wife struggles to connect with their daughter Jackie, who is busy learning the Tagalog language from Gloria the Nanny. The mother tries to establish a relationship with Jackie but it seems she is more capable helping her patients at work than her own daughter. The story only thickens as the nanny Gloria’s life unfolds as well. The movie isn’t without fault though, I found some scenes with Leo to be awkward and unnatural while there are mixed reviews about the feelings of guilt pushed on viewers in regards to the Nanny situation. Not to mention Leo’s choice of clothing and his persistance in wearing it everyday really bugged me (sorry, you’re going to notice that now).

What writer and director Lukas Moodysson does do is a beautiful job at using the challenges faced by the characters to reflect the underlying theme of some major global issues of poverty and development and also the disconnection many families face in the modern world today. You’ll find the use of silence over soundtrack in some key scenes in the film as Moodysson effectively creates a mood that pulls the viewer in. But music is not completely void from the film, and the soundtrack itself is both ominous and upbeat and works well the overall story. I watched for over 2 hours as this interesting and captivating film played on. And I started to wonder why the most important and real stories are confined to films that most people have never heard of. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoyed Iron Man 2, and I understand its popularity. I just wish that such important films to humanity such as Mammoth would be seen by more people, and could escape the doom of being shuffled straight to DVD.

So do yourself a favor and watch this movie. I will confirm that through the entire film, you will not see one single mammoth, but what you will find is a beautifully tragic story. So go find it, the name is Mammoth.