NYAFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It’

NYAFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It’

Within fifteen minutes of Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It, Kazakh protagonist Dastan (Daniar Alshinov) waves off his caricature of a wife (Asel Kaliyeva). She’s due to give birth days away, but Dastan embarks on a fishing trip with his buddies. Little does he know that there are a lot of people that he’ll inadvertently piss off. Mainly, there’s a group of gangsters (Yerkebulan Daiyrov and Rustem Zhaniyamanov) who are eventually out to get him.

These groups keep running into each other. The one eyed man keeps killing the gangsters one by one. Das and his group run into the crime scene just in time for the gangsters to put the wrong kind of two and two together. In fairness, Yernar Nurgaliev’s script has its quiet moments but they are few and far between. Many scenes here involve the gangsters swearing revenge and doing it louder than they should.

The film might speak to the universality of mainstream comedy tropes. Other critics have pitched this while comparing it both to The Hangover and Deliverance. Yours truly is a city boy through and through. But there’s something regionalist and offensive about its depiction of rural people. That’s especially true when Das becomes unconscious and wakes up as a ‘groom’ for a convenient store attendant’s daughter. It’s also as if Nurgaliev directed his actors to go 11.

It’s also understandable that the point of gross out horror dramedies like this is to have a deus ex machina so Das and this friends out of the mess then drove themselves into. But those helping hands feel obvious. Again, in fairness, these are actors who win award in the festival circuit and are having fun, and the soundtrack is good. But this film could use a little less yelling as acting, please and thank you.

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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watch movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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