de Djamshed Usmonov
Paru sur le site www.fipresci.org
As hypnotic but less felted than his previous work – Angel on the Right (Fararishtay kifti rost, 2002) and Flight of the Bee (Parvaz-e Zanbur, 1998), To Get to Heaven, First You Have to Die, (a Russia/ France/ Tajikistan/ Germany/ Switzerland co-production) has all the minimalist pace, bold framing and over-choreographed tricks in the auteur book, but one will wonder how well does this serves its passive-aggressive characters and its tricky dramatic evolution. Kamal, a 20 year old inexpressive countryman, tries to overcome his new marital impotency by visiting his cousin in the city.
After unproductive encounters with local hookers, Kamal falls for textile worker Vera at a bus stop. He follows her and spends effortlessly the night with the shy and repressed girl, and still he's unable to make love to her. Little did he know that Vera is married to an intimidating con man, who robs luxury furniture in empty houses by night. Unwilling to beat the shit out of his wife's new lover because he “…likes to chat and hang out”, the thug forces Kamal to help him on a fatal robbery during which Vera's husband kills a rich man and rapes his girlfriend. Out of fear, Kamal shoots his unlikely partner and returns to Vera. Filled with remorse and trauma, he manages to successfully make love to her.
According to Usmonov standards,
While this could be misled for a dramatically challenging story, To Get to Heaven, First You Have to Die fails to overcome its own impotency to make the best out of incompatible elements and erratic evolution, despite crafty photography. In light of the actors' natural performances, the film sinks into a deeper self-satisfactory dead-end where the mise en scene always overshadows the innocence and authenticity it tries so complicatedly to convey.
© 2007 Charles-Stéphane Roy