I fear that over-schematic writing & the awkward pacing of the film's second half will have allowed some audiences to dismiss the film's narrative as melodramatic when, if anything, it underplays the wrong-headed cruelty of a benefits system that works according to targets not need. However, it is such a necessary film that these aesthetic shortcomings must be simply taken for what they are. The human truth remains.
No final d'O Processo, antes de Joseph K. ser morto por dois cavalheiros, um deles grita-lhe "Como um cão!". K, morre, mas algo ali perdura: "era como se a vergonha lhe sobrevivesse." Loach devia ter presente este final quando abordou este filme. Quanto mais depressa nos apercebemos do seu carácter kafkiano, mais rapidamente nos mentalizamos: desta cruz ninguém pode descer vivo. A morte não é supresa, é condição.
Both prolific and heroic (and don't he know it), Loach, as a filmmaker rather than a polemicist and mensch, is hit or miss, and this particular punch--a fine-minded but belabored variation on De Sica's masterpiece, Umberto D.--doesn't land as well as some of his many others. 2.5.
This partly works because Ken Loach is an old-fashioned socialist with deep and sincere beliefs. It's just like the most naive films of Italian neo-realism, for all its good and bad bits. On its last minutes, though, it becomes a cheesy, predictable and heavy-handed melodrama.
(2.5) I am a fan of "difficult social dramas" but I dislike the idea of exposing the characters to so much misery that it can be considered torture. You don't need to hit majority of lines in the "awful things that can happen to people" playbook to make the audience feel for the characters.
So etwas trauriges habe ich lange nicht gesehen. "Kleine", zunehmend verzweifelte Leute, die unverschuldet in Schwierigkeiten geraten, kommen gegen den Staat/"das System" nicht an, geraten in einen Teufelskreis. (Ist das der Nährboden für Pegida und Brexit?) Sehr glaubhaft gespielt, aber die Story wird im letzten Drittel etwas too much. Ich freue mich jedoch immer über Filme, die nicht im Bürgertum spielen.
I can't really describe how watching I, Daniel Blake made me feel. It's set in my hometown, Newcastle Upon Tyne where, call me biased, but people will naturally go out of their way to lend you a hand, and it was painful for me to see the other side of the table where there are clear forces at work to assure people go out of their way to bitterly destroy the lives of those that are at their most vulnerable.