Free Movie Review On Surreal Movie Review

Type of paper: Movie Review

Topic: Cinema, Movies, Film, Director, Life, Human, People, Widow

Pages: 8

Words: 2200

Published: 2020/12/22

Movies are important part of human life since the beginning. Movies do not only entertain people, but they educate us and help us in reaching a conclusion in various complex situations. There are a number of movies that are special and different from other movies in many ways. This paper intends to discuss five surreal movies that are special and different movies. All of these five movies give a significant message to its audiences and also entertain them at the same time.

Film: The Woman in the Dunes

“The Woman in the Dunes” is a Japanese movie directed by Hiroshi Teshigahara and released in year 1964. The story of film revolves around a man (Junpei) and woman (widow) who were trapped by villagers in a house located in sand pit. Both Junpei and widow were forced to dig the sand that is towed by the villagers in order to get supply of water and food from the villagers. The movie shows period after war, a world that is filled with ash, and condensed to desert. The movie shows how scenic geography of Japan turned into desert and ash, and how it impacted fate of people (Teshigahara, 1964).
The film is not a happy but surreal film that depicts how Junpei and widow were captivated and separated from their demands and society. Junpei who was a teacher and liked to catch insects from sand dunes missed his bus. He accepted the offer of local hospitality from villagers that changed his life and destiny. Major themes of the film are isolation, forced labor, slavery, psycho-sexual images of unfriendliness, and adaptation of identity. Jumpei and widow both forced by villagers to live together, perform sand digging work, and live an uncivilized life like animals.
“Women in the Dunes” display very amatory theme when male characters of the movie is trapped by the widow who offers herself in return. Widow offered her body to get a lifelong servitude. Jumpei Niki falls in love with the woman as he was attracted towards her. The movie displays struggle of both characters, one who give up and accepted uncivilized life as her fate, and other i.e. Jumpei who struggles to escape from the pit by adopting different approaches and making few attempts (Teshigahara, 1964)..
The film is one of best surreal film that investigate internal struggles related with individual’s identity and aboriginal instincts of human behaviour vs civilized conduct. Female character in the film have no identity and known as widow. Jumpei also started losing his identity and known as guest or helper. Black-and-white cinematography of Segawa makes environment of ‘nature prison’ remarkably unusual as compare to cinematic environments. In simple scenes where two people are getting engaged in a relationship, abstract patterns of sand constantly disturb them.
Excellent cinematography in the film can be observed when winds blend with dunes and shake the house, one drop of water covers screen completely, and glittering surface get wrapped in inescapable sand. Teshigahara distorted things in order to show true realities of the world. One shot shows one grain of sand like crystal, music in the background creates suspicion. In another shot multiple crystals appears on the screen which grows to thousands and seems like insect eggs. High-pitched thunderous sound increases the impact of scene. Brilliant combination of cinematography and sound increase the effect of sandy waves, treading uphill and sand grains impending around characters (Lippit, 2005).
Soundscape is very important when depicting mystery & terror of desert, mental and physical tension among individuals, and defining horror associated with place. Sound provides life to the sand and helps in elaborating the cruel impact of sand on the life of normal individuals. The director tries to show true picture and purpose of contemporary life. Jumpei decided to stay in the pit even when there was a chance of escape. He accepted prison as his fate and decided to help villagers and widow by revealing subversive device that can pump water; however, in doing this Jumpei missed the bigger picture that he will be a prisoner only (Wierzbicki, 2012).

Film: The Face of Another

“The Face of Another” is a famous Japanese movie. The movie is based on a book by famous Japanese writer, Kobo Abe and was released in the year 1966. This movie is one of successful surrealistic Japanese movies. Director Hiroshi Teshigahara has converted a simple narrative into a wonderful movie. The story of this movie revolves around an engineer, Okuyama who is severely injured in accident. His face is disfigured and he desires to get a new face (Teshigahara, 1966).
Identity, camouflaging and doppelganger are prominently portrayed as major themes of this movie. Another important theme of this film is husband wife relations. The director has brilliantly portrayed how delicate human relations are, especially husband wife relationship. The director has also tried to hint out towards complexities that arise out when human relations are distorted. Hiroshi Teshigahara has conveyed his ideas of identity and human relations in a realistic manner in this movie. Story takes several turns and entertains audiences. When Okuyama’s face disfigures, he becomes depressed and his behaviour changes. His behaviour also changes when he gets a new face with the help of his doctor Dr. Hira (Quandt, 2007).
Sound effect in this movie is swift and soothing. Sound effect creates curiosity and suspense in few scenes. Toru Takemitsu has composed music for this movie, and he has proved his skills in his area. When Okuyama visits a bar with his doctor, a cabaret dancer sings a nice song. This is very pleasant song that serenades audiences. Background music and thriving orchestration in various scenes is very romantic, as well as sweeping. Sound effect also depicts complexities and bitterness of themes of the movie. The director sends a message through this movie, and the message is about human relations. He hints how relations can make life good or worse. The director and the movie appear succeeding in conveying the desired message to its audiences.

Film: The Trial

“The Trial” is an acclaimed movie by director Orson Welles. The movie was released in the year 1962-63, and is based on a novel that was written by Franz Kafka. The movie revolves around a man named Joseph. He finds himself in a bizarre situation when he is charged and arrested by police authorities. Joseph was more perplexed because he was told about his guilt or reason of his arrest.
Joseph tries everything to come out of this mess, but unfortunately nobody is able to help him. He consults lawyers, priests, and others, but all his efforts went into vein. Joseph was termed as accused and was also baffled after refusing help from everyone. Joseph comes to know that an order to execute him has been passed. The theme of this movie is unnecessary harassments of people. The director said after the completion of the movie that this is the best movie that he has made ever (Welles, 1962).
Sound effects are good and depict many scenes prominently. Background music is also well composed. When police arrests Joseph from the bar, the music itself portrays the scene and its gravity. Music also highlights the mental condition and complexities of Joseph’s mind in many scenes (Wierzbicki, 2012). Direction is excellent and the movie can be termed as director’s movie. The Director highlights the rotten methods of bureaucratic and legal system that harasses innocent people, instead of facilitating them. The director has tried to convey a message that unnecessary sufferings of people by law enforcement agencies should be stopped. Innocent people should not be harassed without valid reasons because it may create chaos in the society.

Film: Brazil

“Brazil” is a British movie directed by Terry Gilliam and released in year 1985. The movie shows bureaucratic society along with fantasy and irony. The scientific fiction revolves around lead character Sam Lowry who is a government employee. Lowry often day-dreams about saving a girl in distress. His dream comes true when Lowry visit widow of Buttle, a cobbler who suspected as terrorist. The girl who used to come in Lowry’s dreams is neighbour of Buttles. The whole film shows how Lowry helps Buttle’s widow.
In the beginning of the movie, misprinting resulted in imprisonment of Buttle and his accidental death in the process of interrogation, instead of an alleged terrorist named Archibald Tuttle. The movie shows how corrupt bureaucratic system removed all evidences related with the death of Buttle in order to hide their own error. The sick bureaucratic system made life of Buttle’s widow a disaster by claiming that she is an assistant to Tuttle (Gilliam, 1985). Bureaucrats made these allegations in order to protect themselves from the error they made.
The major themes of Brazil i.e. corrupted and complex bureaucratic system, struggle of middle class people, fantasy and unreliability of technology. Even after more than two decades of its release film still make sense to the audience. Extraordinary visual treats and themes made surreal settings of the film familiar to the audiences. Effective cinematography with sound effects makes visuals very impressive. Cinematography made scenes of day dreaming more effective and real; it also improved the display of two different societies, one where Lowry lives and other middle class society where Jill and Buttle’s widow are living. Pratt successfully depicted the distribution wealth and power. MOI building shown in the movie display centralization of power, as it is fredersen’s office. Pratt also used scenic landscapes, natural hills and greenery to show safety, peace and calmness (Campora, 2012).
The “Brazil” mainly reflects how science and advance technologies have become an essential medium to achieve desires and ambitions, to reduce fear, and destroy dreams. The movie shows how people become immoral and anti-social just to fulfil their ambitions. For example bureaucrats made widow a terrorist just to hide their mistake. Right to information and individual privacy was violated in the movie. Rigid authority, unequal distribution of power and wealth, struggle of middle class and dehumanization were major elements displays by the director in the film.
The director through his film “Brazil” tries to communicate a surrealistic vision of future where people will more rely on technology. The film shows how a small technical error can result in trouble of individuals and even death of person. The movie shows effect when a daydreamer bureaucrat get involved with mysterious women and underground hero; this association makes daydreamer bureaucrat a tragic victim of romantic illusions. Brazil is one of excellent works done by Gilliam as the movie is great fusion of humour and deterrent impulses. The film depicts ambitious visual styles, combining grim and overpowering architecture. The movie is provoking and thoughtful film that still make relevance in today’s time when reliance on technology is high and even a single error can cause huge damage.

Film: Paprika

“Paprika” is a Japanese science fiction movie that was released in the year 2006. Satoshi Kon has directed this animated movie that entertained Japanese audiences. This movie is one of successful entertainers in the animated segment. There is a message in the movie and it affects every human being on the earth. The story revolves around a young and talented research fellow, Atsuko Chiba. Chiba is a talented scientist and researcher in daytime, but she turns into an amazed super warrior by night.
The theme of this movie is a growing interference of technology in human life. Technology makes human life easy, but at the same time, it also creates various complexities in human life. When people allow technology to dominate our life, it starts controlling humans in different ways. The movie depicts how a newly developed machine has got the power to know the secrets of human brain. The machine has the capacity to enter into human brain and explore everything that is inside human brain (Kon, 2006).
The problem starts when all the accessed information is being manipulated. It creates various complexities and then people are compelled to find solution of this problem. Chiba volunteers to help people in finding a solution of this problem. She tries her talent and courage to overcome this menace and succeeds due to her determination. The movie ends with a message and suggests its audiences to think a number of things (Gardner, 2009).
Sound effect in this animated movie is excellent. In action scenes, the music effect excites audiences. Background music is very good and supports the events in other normal scenes. The director has tried to convey a message that technology exists to help human beings. Technology is a good servant, but a good master. Humans should never allow technology to take charge of their life. When technology starts dominating human life, it creates several complexities for humans. The situation can become out of control and human beings may lose the cool of their life.


Campora, M. (2012). An Integrated Dystopia: The Complexities of Narrative in Terry Gilliam's Brazil. Screen Education, issue 66 , 123-128.
Gardner, W. O. (2009). The Cyber Sublime and the Virtual Mirror:Information and Media in the Works of Oshii Mamoru and KonSatoshi. Canadian Journal of Film Studies, 18(1) , 1-15.
Gilliam, T. (Director). (1985). Brazil [Motion Picture].
Kon, S. (Director). (2006). Paprika [Motion Picture].
Lippit, A. M. (2005). Atomic Light (shadow Optics). USA: U of Minnesota Press.
Quandt, J. (2007, July 09). The Face of Another: Double Vision. Retrieved March 16, 2015, from Criterion:
Teshigahara, H. (Director). (1966). The Face of Another [Motion Picture].
Teshigahara, H. (Director). (1964). Woman in the Dunes [Motion Picture].
Welles, O. (Director). (1962). The Trial [Motion Picture].
Wierzbicki, J. (2012). Music, Sound and Filmmakers: Sonic Style in Cinema. New York, NY: Routledge.

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