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Cake

(Pakistan): This film is about three siblings who return home to Kabul after their father suffers from congestive heart failure. The return home surfaces a number of interpersonal struggles and family secrets that risk fracturing the family. At first glance, it seems like a standard “dysfunctional family dynamics” film. However, the film is really well constructing. The ensemble acting is great. The screenplay is very well crafted, frequently very funny, and keeps coming up with more surprises; I didn’t find it at all predictable. I am impressed with the music; I don’t know anything about Pakistani pop music, but it seems that all of the songs were written specifically for the film and matched the current mood, adding to the richness of the story. The story is also beautifully told and felt natural and realistic (as natural as family relations go). I loved the ending, which was sad yet beautiful, and I did not expect the story to go where it went. In fact, the way the end brings everything together is quite impressive. Big thumbs up for me for a film that explores a common genre but, at least for me, from a very different cultural perspective.  This is one of my favorites of the genre. (2019; 4.5 Stars)

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