Friday, February 23, 2018

Victoria Film Fest review: Man Proposes, God Disposes impressive and moving debut from Vancouver director

February 6, 2018 by Elias Orrego, contributing writer

Man Proposes, God Disposes, Vancouver-based director Daniel Leo’s first film, is an artful movie about the beauty and chaos that comes with the decisions and consequences associated with adulthood. It’s a story about an unplanned interracial and intercontinental pregnancy and the ensuing struggle to make things work.

Set in Poland and Brazil, with powerful, artistic scenes in both locations, the movie demonstrates Leo’s skill as a cinematographer. Varied camera angles and extensive use of fading, blurring, and blackouts create a unique perspective in many scenes.

Man Proposes, God Disposes celebrates life’s complexity (photo provided).

The sound effects of ocean waves, music, and even softened sounds and silence carry the drama of the script. The delivery of the story and the character development is organic and evolves as would the events in real life.

The movie depicts the beauty and struggles—hidden and obvious—in both nations. The Polish protagonist shines as an actor and character; in both the calm and the action sequences, his charismatic nature is exhibited. The secondary character, a Brazilian mother, is not developed quite as well. However, she is portrayed masterfully as a stressed and strong-willed pregnant woman, developing her confidence and motherly instinct.

Comedy is used to effectively introduce the characters and their relationships. Humour and irony is used at various other points in the film to demonstrate life’s spontaneity. A variety of emotions, such as anger, love, and fear, are captured in the acting, music, and scenery of the movie to make it feel very realistic.

The filming and editing throughout most of the picture provide the audience with the feeling of being right in the action. A few impressive aerially shot sequences create pause for reflection. All in all, this is a fun and emotional watch that celebrates the complexity and the magnificence of life.

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