Film critic: Linnamäe's movie theater acquisition cannot benefit consumers

Forum Cinemas' Coca-Cola Plaza movie theater.
Forum Cinemas' Coca-Cola Plaza movie theater. Source: ERR

The "Terevisioon" morning show hosted film critic Tristan Priimägi who gave three movie recommendations but also commented on Margus Linnamäe's investment company UP Invest's planned acquisition of Forum Cinemas in the Baltics. He said that he cannot see the move benefiting the consumer in any way and that it would likely result in a more homogeneous selection of movies and higher ticket prices.

"If you think about the food chain and the consumer's position therein, they will simply become the next meal. I cannot see how it could possibly benefit consumers," he said.

"If a single group of people makes all the decisions, it is very likely that the selection of movies will become even more homogeneous." Priimägi also said that he cannot see why a de facto monopoly would keep prices down.

"I wrote a letter to the Competition Board from the perspective of a concerned citizen and received a rather amorphous reply according to which the watchdog doesn't know anything and will not analyze the matter before the acquisition lands," Priimägi added.

"Tenet" stuck in action cliches

Talking about "Tenet," the critic said he sees no reason why the movie should not be seen more than once as it is very easy to follow.

"It is radiant on the outside, but diving deeper, one might run out of air," he said. Priimägi added that it is admirable director Christopher Nolan can sell and realize his ideas this way and with such budgets – around €225 million in the case of "Tenet."

He said that while it is 2.5 hours long, "Tenet" is chock-full of information and its lengthy action scenes eat up the time, in addition to the movie having a very complex plot.

"It is an interesting technical device, meaning that you are not left with much time to think – the plot immediately moves on, which probably benefits the filmmakers as the house of cards crumbles somewhat when one starts to think about it," Priimägi admitted. "Time travel is impossible without leaving behind a whole."

Even though Nolan's original idea is brilliant, it could have been expressed better. "It is stuck in action cliches. Too much energy is expended going through Bondian scenes. Perhaps it would have been better with a smaller budget."

A social drama from Morocco and Akira Kurosawa's retrospective

Next to "Tenet," Priimägi highlighted Moroccan director Maryam Touzani's film "Adam" that he described as a welcome addition to the Estonian movie scene.

"If bubble theaters' standard programs can make it look like the movie world is made up of dumb Americans in imaginary scenes, here we have a social drama set in Morocco."

"Adam" tells the story of a young woman who asks another single woman for a place to spend the night. The problem is she is clearly pregnant. "In that culture, the question is immediately raised of what a pregnant woman is doing on the street alone, where is her husband and why should I put her up. Rather, one shouldn't to avoid losing face."

Nevertheless, she does and this gives rise to a very fragile relationship and things from the past start coming to light. "There is also a culinary dimension as the host runs a bakery. A very exotic, interesting and telling allegory of what is happening on the psychological level."

The Artis movie theater will host a retrospective of Japanese director Akira Kurosawa from September 4-13. The features list includes the 1950 film "Rashomon" that won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival back in the day and brought Japanese cinema to the West.

"Kurosawa is the most western director among his contemporaries as he is a big John Ford fan and therefore easier to stomach. That said, his way of doing things differs greatly from what we are used to," Priimägi said.

"It is very humanitarian, very human and, interestingly enough, characters do not move from one cliche to another and rather decisions and actions come from within them," the critic added.


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Editor: Marcus Turovski

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