"Slow but Engaging Comical Drama About Refugees in Scotland"
What You Need To Know:
LIMBO moves rather slowly, but it has enough drama and comical, touching moments to keep viewers interested. The movie is well acted. As such, it’s more of a character study. Three scenes show various characters holding what seem to be Muslim prayer beads. LIMBO also contains three “f” words, a strong profanity and a lewd comment. There are some moral elements, however, promoting family and friendship. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for LIMBO, mostly for the foul language.
LIMBO is a comical Scottish drama about a Syrian refugee sent to a cold, remote island in Scotland, where he waits to have his request for amnesty approved and grows increasingly depressed at being separated from his parents, who are refugees living in Turkey. LIMBO moves rather slowly and contains a few “f” words, a strong profanity and a lewd comment, but it has enough drama and comical, touching moments to keep viewers engaged.
The movie opens in a class for “Cultural Awareness,” where a married immigrant couple named Helga and Boris on a remote Scottish island teach a group of about 15 immigrant men what not to do at a dance. Helga and Boris start dancing. Boris first tries to put his hands on Helga’s shoulders, but she brushes him away. Then, he ties to put his arms around her waist, and she pushes him away again. Finally, Boris lays his head on her shoulder, and Helga slaps him.
Among the men is a Syrian refugee named Omar. Omar is living in a house with three other men, an Afghan refugee named Farhad and two African refugees, Wasef and Abedi. The men like to watch DVDs of the American TV show, FRIENDS, that Omar bought. Everywhere he goes, Omar carries around a large guitar case holding his grandfather’s oud, an Arab guitar that Omar supposedly can also play. However, Omar never gets it out and never plays it in front of people until the very end.
Occasionally, the men go to a local public phone booth outdoors and call their relatives. Omar often calls his parents, who are living in Turkey. Omar’s brother, Nabil, however, went back to Syria to fight, but on what side, it isn’t said. No one’s heard from Nabil recently, though.
The local pub offers an upcoming open mic night, with prizes. Helga tells Omar he ought to play his oud. Omar is reluctant, even though Farhad says he’s acting as Omar’s agent and manager. Privately, however, Omar tells Farhad he’s having problems tuning the oud, but Omar’s efforts seem pretty half-hearted.
As Omar and the three men around him experience comical and dramatic setbacks and victories, viewers start wondering, how well can Omar really play the oud? Will he perform at the open mic night or not?
LIMBO moves rather slowly, but it has enough drama and comical moments to keep viewers interested. Also, Amir El-Masry and Vikash Bhai do a good job as Omar and Farhad. The movie is more of a character study than a social or political drama about the plight of refugees in Britain and Europe. That said, three scenes show various characters holding what seem to be Muslim prayer beads. LIMBO also contains several “f” words and other obscenities. Also, some local Scottish people give Omar a ride, and one of them half-jokingly tells Omar as he exits the car not to rape anyone. In one scene, Omar’s brother calls Omar’s cell phone, but Omar misses the call. Then, when Omar returns his brother’s call, he gets an answering message asking Omar to text him instead. Shortly after that, Omar imagines talking to his brother in an isolated cabin Omar finds during a winter storm. MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution for LIMBO, mostly for the foul language.