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Kinks is a 2011 film directed by Virginia Kennedy and Juliane Block, two female indie filmmakers who couldn't be more different in their styles and approaches to film. Block had previously directed the martial arts flick 'Emperor', while Kennedy had made a name for herself with avant-garde and experimental shorts. Together they created a truly unique piece of cinema that blends reality with fantasy, Hollywood with Asia, and drama with an intense exploration of contemporary themes of race, identity, and culture.

The film stars Tati Ambia and Vikneshwaran Balasundran, with Block herself stepping in front of the camera alongside them. The script, co-written by Kennedy and Block, primarily features two parallel set of siblings, from different cultural backgrounds and worldviews who are brought together through unexpected circumstances.

On one side, we have the Kondhur sisters, Jay, an enthusiastic wannabe action star, and her sister Lisa, a rather reserved documentary filmmaker. Jay is performed with arresting vitality by Tati Ambia, her vivacious, fiery persona beaming with energy. Meanwhile, Lisa, portrayed by Juliane Block, provides a more restrained, yet weighty contrast to her sister, grounding their shared scenes.

On the other hand, we have brothers Muthu and Kumar, two local men of Indian descent who occupy a grubbier, harsher corner of the world. Vikneshwaran Balasundran provides us with a compelling performance, as he juggles between traditional values, ambitions, and the harsh realities of life. Each set of siblings represents vastly different cultural and social contexts, their stories offer perspectives on the variety and complexity of modern Malaysian life.

The story of Kinks promises an interesting exploration, as the paths of these two sets of siblings inexplicably intertwine. Their clash of cultures and identities, intentional or not, is depicted in a manner that feels both authentic and relatable. This film goes beyond a mere narrative plot and delves deep into the heart of cultural clashes, political undertones and racial dynamics of Malaysia, peering into the societal norms and values through a broader perspective.

The directing style of Kennedy and Block is also worth mentioning. They successfully create an engaging backdrop that's both comfortably familiar and weirdly disorienting. The film is almost surreal in its execution, with a few moments of unadulterated fantasy dotted throughout its running time. Its quirky humor, eccentricities, and surprisingly light-hearted moments add an extra dimension to the thoughtful and sobering content.

With Kinks, we're served a story that not only challenges cultural perceptions but also questions traditional storytelling methods within the film. Its clever twists and inventive narrative keep the audience engaged and willing to be led down its unpredictable path. It is a film that can't be easily categorised into a genre – it's a comedy, a drama, family entertainment, and gritty social commentary drubbed into one.

There is a creative energy seeping across Kinks that is often difficult to find in other films. It’s not a movie that’s trying to please everyone, but instead, it works precisely because of its individuality and uniqueness. This eclectic film carries with it a certain charm, and though it might seem erratic at times, its heart is in the right place, reaching viewers across all borders and cultures.

Visually, the movie is a feast for the eyes as it creatively uses its rich array of aesthetics to depict the diverse cultures within Malaysia. Moreover, the mis-en-scene effectively aids in conveying the stark contrast between the characters' worlds and what they each represent.

Overall, Kinks pays homage to the vibrant and diverse mix of Asian Cinema. Its honesty and audaciousness make it a stand-out film in a crowd of ‘run-of-the-mill’ productions. It offers a clear and observing eye on the complexity of dwindling traditions and the reality of globalization in close-knit societies. It's bold, daring, and refuses to be boxed in. As a viewer, Kinks leaves you with something to think about long after the end credits have rolled.

Kinks is a movie that is peculiar in the most delightful way, offering a unique exploration of what happens when cultural barriers cross and identities collide. This dual directorial effort brings to light a cinematic experience that shouldn't be missed for those who appreciate films that scratch beneath the surface of its characters and their worlds. Truly, Kinks is a brilliant reflection of modern-day cultural kaleidoscope that Malaysia is.

Kinks is a Comedy, Drama movie released in 2012. It has a runtime of 87 min.. Critics and viewers have rated it moderate reviews, with an IMDb score of 7.6..

How to Watch Kinks

Where can I stream Kinks movie online? Kinks is available to watch and stream, buy on demand, download at Google Play. Some platforms allow you to rent Kinks for a limited time or purchase the movie for downloading.

Virginia Kennedy
Nina Sharil Khan, Juliane Block
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