Love this movie & book-funny, sweet & sexy chemistry!
Director (Shamim Sarif Discussion
First, let me say that I first became familiar with Shamim Sarif's
work, while visiting the Philadelphia Gay Film Festival over the last
few years. This will be long, as I ABSOLUTELY LOVE both films, and
can't recommend them enough for some humor, realistic drama and a
journey beyond any existing borders of the mind.
My partner of 10 years and I have become life-long fans of Shamim's
work, as this writer/director has captured our hearts and souls with
relevant and poignant story lines that could serve as crossover
projects for the mainstream media. I believe the latter is crucial in
engaging America and the world in a dialogue of equality which
transcends sexuality or gender.
I CAN'T THINK STRAIGHT- ===================== This has taken its spot
among my favorite romantic comedies of all time. The soundtrack was
up-tempo, fun and playful. The colors, costumes and set design where
expertly integrated, and both this, and THE WORLD UNSEEN should be
re-released on Blu-Ray. The look of both films is amazing and begs for
This time Shamim Sarif uses humor effectively to shed light on the
cultural taboo of being in a same sex relationship. She re-casts Lisa
Ray as the confident, bold and seductive Tala, working on her own
business, opposite Sheetal Sheth as Leila, the shy, beautiful and
insightful writer, and object of Tala's affections.
Together they explore this very forbidden, but inevitable love, and
find their way to each other, with each other's help. But on the way,
they are aided by friends in very humorous situations, and hindered by
family members, still loyal to reserved tradition. The soundtrack is
virtually its own character, as it includes catchy and sexy songs
ranging from ethnic to ballad, which compliment Tala and Leila's
The cultural taboo of being in this relationship is a relatable
conundrum that many same sex couples have faced, and despite this
film's focus on Jordanian and Indian cultures, the overarching theme of
being threatened, disowned and shunned by family is universal and
sadly, very relevant. All of the characters are funny and charming, and
the dialogue is hilarious and smart, but never preachy. I found it
particularly interesting how the fathers in both THE WORLD UNSEEN and I
CAN'T THINK STRAIGHT were overall very supportive-another rare
depiction, given the theme and cultures depicted. ***SPOILER ALERT***
THE WORLD UNSEEN: ===================== For me, this film is a
stunning, visual masterpiece, based on the book of the same name. The
sweeping visual landscape, and texture and layers of the setting,
costumes, characters and lifestyle are simply magnificent and
breathtaking. The film also masterfully captures the inhumanity,
humiliation, cruelty and robbing of dignity caused by the laws of the
It is a period piece, set in 1950's South Africa and tells the
heartfelt and heart-breaking story of two women who find each other
under during a chance encounter which awakens an emotional connection
that ultimately unites them in heart, mind and soul. This occurs during
a time period, where mixed race relationships are considered criminal,
and the country has taken for granted that this should be acceptable.
That is, except for those that characters that fight to revolt against
this, and believe in equality.
This includes Amina, the rebellious, courageous character (Sheetal
Sheth) who ultimately reminds Miriam (Lisa Ray)-an oppressed and abused
housewife, who has lost herself and her interests, in her "role"- that
she the latter has the strength to stand on her own and be who she
wants to be-personally and professionally. Both Sheetal Sheth and Lisa
Ray do an incredible job of conveying their individual plights on
screen-sometimes with little spoken word and an artistic journey that
entrenches you into their quiet pain, caused by the situation. Their
scenes are some of the most skillful, yearning and heart-wrenching I
have ever seen.
The story is told with such subtle and emotional complexity that I've
rarely seen on film. Many feelings are conveyed with glances, the score
itself, and unsaid words, which make this film incredibly powerful.
Although the film leaves much implied, I was completely captivated by
the power of the performances of the leads, as well as the supporting
cast. I learned a great deal about the time period, as well as how much
courage each character had to find within him/herself to ultimately
emerge independent and dignified.
Amina is playful, bold, flirty and powerful and Miriam is reserved,
curious and taken with Amina and all that she represents. There is
passionate chemistry between the two female leads, who ultimately risk
everything to grasp that which is most important-love for each other
and for life and happiness. The film has an open end, but keen viewers
can deduce the outcome and will remember this powerful story forever.
This is the winner of numerous awards, including the official selection
at the Toronto Film Festival & London Film Festival. Do not miss this
Again, Shamim Sarif achieves the kind of crossover appeal, whether
intentional or not, that allows the universal themes of unstoppable
love to trump the sometimes "hot button" issues of gender, political
and sexual orientation components. Both leads and the entire supporting
cast envelop us with hope, laughter and inspiration. These two films
are truly must- sees and the behind the scenes extras on both DVD's are
Regardless of your sexual orientation, or interest in the genres, I
highly recommend these 2 pieces as examples of genius book to film
transitions and films that stand on their own (I've not read the books
yet), that deliver a poignant message of hope, equality, inspiration
Stay updated on Shamim's work by joining her Facebook page.
Stay updated with Lisa Ray & Sheetal's Facebook pages (search for
john rambo watch The Land Before Time II: The Great Valley Adventure movie
Frankiee watch The Big Bounce movie
calliope26 watch A Guide For The Married Man movie
autumn in new york gia.
deryck watch Simple Plan, A movie
It´s a wonderfull movie and i can´t wait to see it..
deryck watch Hello, Dolly! movie
This movie is the best. I can´t wait to see it..
this movie is an amazing movie.
Very nice,funny and whitty. A must see.
can wait to see this!.
i love it.
"Nice" but the potential isn't really realised due to a clunky script and some wooden performances
While I'm sure that the vast majority of male viewers of this film will
have come to it because of how easy on the eye the two lead actresses
are, but for me I came to it because I had heard that it was a quite
charming little film about culture clashes and coming out. From the
outset there is certainly a degree of charm that comes with the rather
glossy sheen on the total production and certainly the performances are
mostly geared towards "light" material rather than anything too
complex. It also, having an autobiographical content, comes over as
warmly sympathetic to the two protagonists a feeling that it easily
allows the viewer to share. However, none of this is enough to make it
as good as it could have been, mainly because of the problems with the
The film is very short and this combines with some awful dialogue to
make everything feel very superficial. While some of the scenes between
Tala and Leyla are touching and intimate, some of them have all the
subtly and realism of set-up dialogue in a p0rn film. Leyla is well
done as more reserved and laid back but Tala is too forward and rushed,
making everything happen suddenly without any indication that either of
the two women are having any sort of inner though process at all. I was
surprised because I had heard some good things about it but at times I
was half expecting one of the characters to start saying things like
"oh, my, look my shirt has come undone" and other clunky lines truth
be told it is sometimes not far from that.
This does really hurt the film but not alone "helping" it alone is
also a lack of real development in the characters and situations
themselves. Everything is little more than words and I never got the
sense of much below the surface again surprising since the film is
supposed to be based on the maker's real life experiences. Perhaps
because of this, the performances tend towards being a bit wooden and
really only manage to do more because of the performers themselves.
Sheth is probably the stronger of the lead two because she has the most
vulnerability to her character and is on the most interesting journey;
she does this well. Ray is not so good. Her performance plays thinks
too strong and confident and there is no discovery to her, no small
steps and no real sign of anything going on below the surface. Together
they make a very attractive couple but their performances and their
dialogue limits their chemistry. The supporting cast are mostly pretty
stiff and unconvincing, hurting the narrative but also fudging the
occasional attempts at humour.
Overall I Can't Think Straight is a nice idea that is done with a
certain amount of charm, but not enough to cover the problems with it.
The lack of depth and complexity (even in basic ways) are what hurts it
because it turns what could have been an interesting and touching film
into one that is overwhelmingly superficial in its design and delivery.
Still a nice film but could and could have been so much more..