Movie reviews: Life Itself, Sink Or Swim


This French offering helmed by actor-director Gilles Lellouche is an underdog comedy about synchronised swimming - typically a female-dominated sport - with a refreshing twist.

Here, we follow the bonds of brotherhood and sheer determination of an all-male, middle-aged group of underachieving losers-turned-amateur synchronised swimmers.

Pot-bellied and a far cry from what a pro would look like, these men are having a mid-life crisis.

In the hopes of gaining self-respect, they try to overcome their inner demons by rashly committing to compete in the World Championships in Norway.

Sink Or Swim may have a sluggish start - at times the two-hour running time will give you that sinking feeling - but is ultimately kept afloat by its lovable cast and some funny, heartfelt and emotional moments.

The feel-good ending is a definite crowd-pleaser and worth the wait. - TATIANA MOHAMAD ROSLI



TV producer-screenwriter Dan Fogelman, the creator of hit US drama series This Is Us, returns to film-making with a flashy treatise on love, loss and life.

As a New York couple (Oscar Isaac and Olivia Wilde) go from college romance to the birth of their first child, the twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.

Opening here on Dec 6, Life Itself is beautiful and tragic, its complicated story skilfully told via multiple narrators.

However, the dialogue is mostly filled with impassioned, overly long speeches, as if lecturing the audience.

Set in New York City and Carmona, Spain, the film features an international ensemble.

Overall, the Spanish cast fares better, with Antonio Banderas expertly breezing through a three-minute monologue while keeping your attention throughout.

Sergio Peris-Mencheta and Laia Costa have a believable chemistry, unlike Isaac and Wilde's unnatural performances as a couple.

The characters' grappling with philosophical questions resonates, and you may leave the theatre feeling slightly more fulfilled. - NUR SYAHINDAH ISHAK