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IMDb Rating 4.7 10 710

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Plot summary

Uploaded by: FREEMAN
October 25, 2022 at 05:47 AM


Top cast

Ben Kingsley as Selim
1.02 GB
English 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by ga-bsi 8 / 10

A lovely, complex film

Diane is a young, promiscuous trainee stockbroker, who leads a life that is not unhappy, but is rather empty of meaningful human connection. This is shown in her flippancy towards her friend's upcoming wedding, and her lack of a relationship with her mother.

She receives a sunflower with a blank card, but soon forgets about it. She discovers another blank card in her bag, which she left in the church during her friend's wedding ceremony. After missing the ferry to the reception, she is offered a lift by a friendly seaman in his tug boat. He gives her drugged tea, however, and she wakes up in a strange harem, surrounded by Arabic women and children.

What follows is a brief mental breakdown after wandering in the desert, and being found by the sheikh's falcon. She eventually accepts her fate, and when she does finally meet the sheikh, Salim, she realises he has been watching her for some time, and that she has no real qualms about sleeping with him. He does not share her cavalier attitude towards sex, however. He is a man who is trying to reconcile his Arabic roots with his need to embrace the Western World. This is a complex desire, and his relationship with Diane is equally complex, for it is based upon obsessive love on his side, and conflicting emotions of love and loneliness on hers.

This film has beautiful cinematography, and a hauntingly lovely Middle Eastern themed score. The two go hand in hand to create a film which is atmospheric and lasting in ones memory.

The performances of Ben Kingsley as Salim and Nastassja Kinski as Diane, are both very powerful and subtle. Some have said that Ben Kingsley comes off as dull, but I can not disagree more. He conveys every emotion with his usual subtle brilliance. It is not necessary for him to try and convey his emotions with excessive energy. This is a man who is silently torn by his loyalty to his culture and responsibilities, and his desire for what he knows is unobtainable for a man in his position. Nastassja Kinski gives one of her best performances, and shows Diane's slow emotional maturity, and gradual acceptance and understanding of both herself and Salim. Their chemistry is excellent, because it is genuine and natural. It is sensual and languid, much like the film itself, which is why most people would not enjoy it.

This film requires a large amount of patience in order to truly appreciate its development. It is also not for those who wish to have conclusive answers at the end of the film. The film requires an audience or viewer who is content to interpret its ending as they will. The film's ending while tragic and open, is the only one that it could realistically have.

Harem is very much in the same vein as 9 1/2 Weeks and Wild Orchard, with its distinctive mood and non-linear plot. It does not have the hectic sex scenes of these films, but it has the same sort of message: the examination of loneliness, the realisation of a quiet kind of melancholy which can rule ones life without one realising it, and finally the discovery of another person who is also lonely and unaware of their melancholic existence. Whether or not the connection with this other person is lasting, positive or destructive remains to be seen.

Reviewed by fookoo 5 / 10

extremely painful to watch

An American woman, Nastassja Kinski, is kidnapped off the streets of New York and ends up in a harem. This movie is not to be confused with Rudolph Valentino's "The Sheik" essentially because "Harem" is dead once the scenery moves into an unknown Arabian desert where the shifting sands seem to have caused time to nearly stop. Poor Ben Kingsley plays a lifeless role that is in marked contrast to the more meaty role that Nastassja has been given. Without Nastassja, there is no movie and even she cannot save this very slow, dull, when-is-it-going-to-end movie. Except for Nastassja, the picture lacks life. The script is DOA and one wonders how these sorts of movies ever see the light of day. At least it is comforting to know that no amount of money in the world will buy off Nastassja's character - American women can be feisty and independent even if they have to rely upon their feminine wiles. "Harem" is a movie that is so bad that one cannot forget it.

Reviewed by Koteas1 5 / 10

Rather stretched avant-garde movie

I wasn't expecting anything when I rented this, except maybe good performances of both the lead actors - Ben Kingsley and Nastassja Kinski, both of whom I think are very good at what they do. I expected it to be avant-garde (which as far as I know usually implies a rather complicated or stretchy movie that might be strenuous to watch at parts), and it turned out to be just that - little dialog to make the images work, and some scenes the movie could have done very well without. What separates this from a GOOD avant garde is the notorious lack of any meaningful plot, or idea that the director wishes to convey. And if there's something I can't stand it's an old-as-the-hills story cosily cloaked in a directors' slightly demented vision. "susceptive foreigner falls in love with a man from foreign culture, and learns to love and understand this foreign culture after initial struggles". That's it. Not more and not less. This movie may be slightly less kitchy than other movies with the same theme, but the price for this is high - many endless and dragging scenes portraying things previously shown enough times. That just makes you want to grab your remote and fast-forward a little bit. However, this movie does have some rather original "twists" to the plot, and it's good enough to keep you watching throughout. It's also straight-forward enough to appeal to people who usually avoid avant garde and "the artsy". No prior knowledge of the theme is needed before watching this movie, which is a bliss.

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