Bel Canto (2018)


“Don’t worry, they won’t shoot.” – Comandante Alfredo

“Are you sure? Not everyone likes opera!” – Roxanne Cross

Number of Times Seen – 1 (18 Nov 2020)

Brief Synopsis – After a group of rebels take over a fancy party in a Central American country, the hostages and their abductors learn to live together as they await answers from the outside.

My Take on it – This is a film that works quiet well largely due to the way that the story is presented.

They are able to show the kind of stress and various situations that might occur in hostage situations where everyone, both hostages and terrorist/rebels are under lots of duress.

The film is able to create some very diverse characters who all have different views and perspectives on everything that is going on around them.

The story is structured in a way that we can see the bonding that occurs between both sides during the weeks and months that they spend together over the course of the film.

Knowing that this story is based on real events that occurred over 25 years ago also adds so much to things here because it helps make the story and events feel even more plausible and realistic as the plot unfolds.

They do a nice job of showing how the boundaries between both sides break down slowly as the story (and the time they share together) progresses showing how effective Stockholm Syndrome can actually be.

The film has a great cast led by Julianne Moore and Ken Watanabe who both give stellar performances here.

The film is able to create a nice story line which works really well.

It’s too bad that they weren’t able to make things even more poignant and powerful which could have made things more engaging and enjoyable to watch.

Bottom Line – Really interesting idea that is able to show the kind of stress and situations that can occur while people are under so much duress. The characters are quite diverse and we get a nice idea of how both sides gain so much of a bonding experience over the course of the captivity. The fact that this is based on real events adds so much to the story.  They do a great job showing how the characters experience Stockholm Syndrome over the course of their irdeal together.  The cast is great and Watanabe and Moore stand out among them all the whole way through. The story is done well, but they could have given the viewer something even more poignant along the way that might have made things even more enjoyable to watch. Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Ken Watanabe was in Peru working on a film the week before the 1996 Japanese embassy hostage crisis, on which this film is based, first broke out in that country. Had he stayed a few days longer, he may have attended the very party that resulted in the four-month standoff and dozens of deaths. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

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