Thursday, February 27, 2014

Rima Naim's Milena

Rima Naim is a Lebanese filmmaker. She moved from Saudi Arabia to Los Angeles to get a master's degree in filmmaking, and is currently working on producing short films and documentaries.

"Milena" is skillfully constructed, combining elegant imagery and soft, soulful music into a package that almost certainly represents director Rima Naim's precise vision. Each of her compositions is gorgeously lit and arranged. Unfortunately, Naim's pursuit of these images -- a photo overdeveloping in a pan, a woman in a nice dress alone in a barren field -- causes a disconnect between the viewer and characters. The string music and sad faces do their best to generate an emotional connection, but without a better sense of the characters as people, rather than objects for Naim to place and manipulate, the resulting film is more visually evocative than dramatically compelling.

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