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Film Review: Seven Seas Seven Hills (2024) by Ram

A buffoon meets an immortal inside a train

Probably one of the most unique and extreme films found in IFFR this year, 's “” shows its colors from the description even: Set on a moving train on a rain-soaked night, a chance encounter between a 32-year-old everyman and an 8,000-year-old immortal – and a rat!– triggers a series of events that will intertwine their destinies.

Seven Seas Seven Hills is screening at

The aforementioned 32-year-old is a man who evidently thinks he owns the world as he enters the train with sunglasses, two funky suitcases and talking loudly on the phone. To his rather bad luck, however, the man who is hanging his feet in the corridor while sleeping is not another passenger, in the otherwise empty wagon, but a rather angry Immortal whom the man had the audacity to wake up. Such begins a game of cat-and-mouse, actually including a mouse eventually, while the narrative soon moves to the Immortal's past, in order to show a love story through the ages, and the reasons behind his mentality.

Ram directs a movie that soars on tension from the beginning, since, as soon as the story moves into the train, the clash between the two sole passengers and particularly the way the newcomer soon realizes the mistake he did by being rude to the Immortal, makes every scene as tense as possible. The inclusion of the mouse and the way it is implemented in order to show who has the upper hand also moves in the same direction, in a way that, occasionally, can be only described as brutal. Furthermore, the inclusion of a third passenger eventually adds another level to the story and the dynamics of the protagonists, as drama also becomes a factor.

Considering that a large part of the movie takes place within a single wagon, the whole thing could easily become a kind of dialogue-heavy, stage play type of movie. In order to avoid doing so, Ram includes the story of the Immortal through the ages, and particularly his repetitious romantic relationship with a girl. The drama that is included in this arc of the story works well, but the romantic and melodramatic elements that occasionally appear soon become tiresome, with the quality of the movie definitely deteriorating during these parts. At the same time, though, that these events explain the Immortal's mentality and the reasons behind his actions work well for the story. Furthermore, the action scenes involved and particularly a rather dramatic one, are quite impressive to watch, highlighting the job done in the action choreography by Stunt Silva, although this aspect definitely finds its apogee in the final scene in the train, whose brutality is as shocking as it is outstanding to watch.

N K Ekhambram's cinematography captures the setting in the train in a way that intensifies the claustrophobic essence of these scenes, while, in combination with the SFX, a number of quite memorable scenes are presented throughout the movie. The scenes outside the train are brighter for the most part, in a completely different approach that also works well though. Mathi Vs's editing results in a pace that is frantic inside the train and much slower outside, in an approach that is fitting in both cases.

as the Immortal gives an astonishing performance, with his movements and looks filling the screen every time he appears on it. in the role of the second passenger plays the caricature with gusto, although his dramatic moments are also strong.

Despite the fact that the part outside of the train could be much briefer, the quality of the one within the wagon is so significant, that the result is a film that manages to impress and entertain throughout its duration.

About the author

Panos Kotzathanasis

My name is Panos Kotzathanasis and I am Greek. Being a fan of Asian cinema and especially of Chinese kung fu and Japanese samurai movies since I was a little kid, I cultivated that love during my adolescence, to extend to the whole of SE Asia.

Starting from my own blog in Greek, I then moved on to write for some of the major publications in Greece, and in a number of websites dealing with (Asian) cinema, such as Taste of Cinema, Hancinema, EasternKicks, Chinese Policy Institute, and of course, Asian Movie Pulse. in which I still continue to contribute.

In the beginning of 2017, I launched my own website, Asian Film Vault, which I merged in 2018 with Asian Movie Pulse, creating the most complete website about the Asian movie industry, as it deals with almost every country from East and South Asia, and definitely all genres.

You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.

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