Moscow, Belgium

Posted by schnolis on March 25th, 2009 filed in Reviews

Moscow, BelgiumHow many days do we spend in a daze, blindly going through the motions of our lives without any thought to what we’re doing? Too many, probably. Matty (Barbara Sarafian), a separated mother of three children, was doing just that. Until she accidentally backed her car into an unseen truck in a parking lot.

Matty came alive only when verbally threatened by the driver of the truck. This accident, this unplanned setback, is how she (and the movie) really got started. It necessitated her abandoning the routines she adhered to. The driver of the truck eventually inserts himself into her life, pointing out to her both directly and by his mere presence, that she hasn’t been engaged in living. Instead of waiting placidly for her husband, who moved out to live with his 22-year old lover, to return, she looked inward to see what it was that she wanted. And Matty came alive.

She took on her headstrong eldest daughter. She challenged her husband and lover. And they challenged her back, with drama aplenty. It was amazing to watch her realize that her husband wasn’t the only one who needed to do some soul-searching, and that she needn’t just wait around for his eventual return. The ending, too, was both powerful and tender, but far from perfect. Matty is a reminder to us all that we must take an active role in our lives. We must all face our complacency instead of coasting by on autopilot.

What I liked: A mid-life crisis story that focused primarily on a woman. Interesting characters who lived their lives while the story continued moving forward.

What I disliked: Some of the outbursts were a little over the top. Some of the minor characterizations were stereotyped and underdeveloped. This is largely excusable because the rest of the story was so solid. Sometimes the odd tension introduced felt heaped on.

Rating: 8 of 10

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