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Sorry, Haters
cast: Robin Wright Penn, Abdel Kechicle, Sandra Oh, Remy K. Selma, and Fred Durst

writer and director: Jeff Stanzler

83 minutes (15) 2006
widescreen ratio 16:9
TLA DVD Region 2 retail

RATING: 8/10
reviewed by James A. Stewart
We live in a world of intolerance and hatred. There is sectarianism, bigotry, racism and many other forms of discrimination happening day-in, day-out in every school, office and factory on planet Earth. The post-9/11 movie, Sorry, Haters uses this hatred and channels it into a very competent movie that is as thought provoking as it is shocking. Many people have attempted to rationalise the events at the twin towers on 9/11, in Sorry, Haters we have perhaps one of the most worrying.

Made in 2005 but released in the UK in October 2007, the movie revolves around two main characters. Abdel Kechiche plays the lead male role, Ashade, a New York cab driver that is working to support his brother's wife and child - a situation forced upon Ashade by his brother's incarceration at Guantanamo Bay. Kechiche is wonderful as the softly spoken cabbie and draws a great degree of sympathy as his good heart and trusting disposition are manipulated throughout.

In turn, Forrest Gump star Robin Wright Penn plays the lead female, Phoebe. She puts in a tremendous performance, alternating between psychotic and coy in some captivating scenes and her motives for befriending Ashade are never really clear until late on. She works for a TV company that produce a 'Cribs'-style programme called 'Sorry, Haters'. This is an aside to the main story of the film except to point out her career with the TV company only serves to fuel the angst in Phoebe. She is always the bridesmaid, never the bride.

Before you watch this film, and you should, think about how you form preconceived notions on people by their actions, looks and culture. Director Jeff Stanzler does a commendable job in avoiding the pitfalls of stereotyping his characters; an all too easy mistake to make when producing US and NY based films, especially when touching on the subject of 9/11. His interpretation of the Muslim characters is done with great empathy and he builds Phoebe's character superbly well, aided by Penn's excellent portrayal.

Fred Durst, the Limp Bizkit front man, makes an appearance as the fictional subject of a Sorry, Haters show, which adds the square root of zero to the overall movie. Indeed, his appearance could serve only to distract the viewer from the point at hand. But this is a hyper-criticism, Sorry, Haters is a superbly filmed and acted movie. Coming in at just over 80 minutes it is just the right length for a weeknight sitting. Highly recommended.

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