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Broken Glass (2007)

DVD Cover (Celebrity Video Distribution)
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Overall Rating 79%
Overall Rating
Ranked #6,837
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Through seven bottles of cursed wine, we follow the journey of Valentina, a beautiful artist living in Berlin. With a sordid history of sexual and physical abuse, and having been caught in the arms of her female lover by her wealthy, overbearing mother, Val is forced to make a choice: to live a "normal" life, or be forever cut off - financially and emotionally. She concedes to her mother's ultimatum, and pursues a heterosexual relationship to appease her, only to catch her new boyfriend in bed with another man. Her inability to cope with her life triggers her repressed male alter-ego to emerge and take over. --IMDb
Gustavo Camelot
Gustavo Camelot
Danielle James
Danielle James
Mariela Santos
Mariela Santos
Jasper Wood
Jasper Wood
Olivier Raynal
Olivier Raynal
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Review by Ginose
Added: March 03, 2010
Well, this should be interesting. It's not uncommon for a distributor or filmmaker to send a few pieces to the ol' MvMMDI to get a bit of coverage/free publicity on their new releases or just to bring attention to their old ones. However, this is normally done by the owner/creator simply dropping them off on our doorstep and hoping someone picks them up, forgetting to give us the actual baby in the basket, at times. Then there are the ones who simply want some good, honest critique from our DAMN fine team of writers, and I can't appreciate those people enough.

You see, recently our site was asked to review a small group of releases from Celebrity Video Distribution and, after the wonderfully refreshing dramatic piece, "Chepachet", I had reviewed, it was hard to turn down such an offer. Of course, they've their priorities in getting our critiques, so one of their most recent releases was first up on the block, a drama of time, love, obsession and wine. It is... a unique piece, to be certain.

Finally returning to her home in Berlin, Valentina, a beautiful artist with a lot on her mind, discovers her boyfriend, Steiny in bed with another man. Having just sated her own desires with the woman she loves, Alessandra, while in Rome, she is stricken. Feeling choked by her own feelings of guilt as well as the pain and confusion she had been feeling, simply torn between her true feelings for Alessandra and the acceptance/love of her mother, Valentina finally breaks down. While being comforted by her compromised male-personality, Val, she finally loses it, allowing Alexandre the control he, apparently, oft has over her actions. As he goes on living through Valentina, it becomes clear that both Val and Steiny have rather confused affection for one another, causing all the more turmoil for the torn Valentina.

Now, I probably shouldn't have given away as much of the plot as I just did, but the lot of the beginning of the film is set-up for everything else. See, the plot continues to twist and turn, not necessarily confusing itself or the viewers, but more along the lines of refusing to dwell and develop on any one aspect of the story. This is GOOD, in that it tells a much greater story in the time allotted than one could normally expect; it is also BAD, however, because it actually chips away most of the depth, character, and simple explanations for certain things, leaving the finished production feeling rushed and clustered, incomplete even.

Does this alter its effect as a serious drama? No, I wouldn't say so. It does tend to give the viewer less to consider and contemplate over when the film is done, though. IT also provides a lot of confusion concerning some of the most simple of things (the purpose of the wines themselves, Alexandre's existence and what becomes of him as the story develops, etc.). I guess the bigger problem I have with all of it is how this tends to water-down a lot of the impact that the film has when the viewer is left to just shrug and assume a simplistic answer to something that could be remarkably developed upon.

There is a lot of great, deep, driving drama, and enough splendidly emotional scenes, hell, enough for two or three movie of the genre. This WOULD make it seem like I really complete film if, as I mentioned before, all of the plot and scenes weren't so hastened along, making the important (and not important, but interesting) moments seem to be nothing but blunt-impact rather than significant drama. A true shame, as there are some spectacular performances from the whole cast that is wasted when they're applied to sheer emotion rather than story-development.

Some extremely interesting moments that could have been EXCELLENT exposure for the unexplored characters (Steiny, Angel and Valentina's grandfather, specifically) are just sort of laid flat and ignored, no matter what sort of significant impact they're expected to have on plot (especially Valentina's mother's history, which allegedly is one of the main things that impacts her change in character), which only adds to the overall uninspiring resolution the plot eventually comes to.

It's a fantastic trip, compelling and engaging enough to keep watching, but I feel that it forgot everything EXCEPT the genre, namely its own premise and characters. So, what can you call a movie that's still a good watch, but doesn't seem to grasp any point it was trying to make (aside from the few social-views it attempts to cram down your throat, but are easily ignorable if you concentrate on the fantastic package it's all wrapped in) and ends rather blandly, taking absolutely nothing that happens in its length into any true consideration, and reminding us exactly HOW predictable its ending (and, appropriately, its story) truly was? Incomplete is really all I can think of.

It feels like a project that, when conceived, was very well idealized, but then it was chopped, edited down and compromised for budget/time restraints. Some movies can do this, their idea can be crammed and condensed and it'll still be a perfectly realized attempt, but this... this was DEFINITELY not one of those.

It's a gorgeous film, it's a VERY well acted film, it's a film that mixes a bunch of ideas and actually comes back with something both unique and engaging, but it does little more than that. So, what is it all really? Well, it's no "Chepachet", but I'd still highly advise it, if just for a unique, interesting take on a fantastic premise.

6.8/10.
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