MOVIE REVIEW: A Man’s Journey for a Longtime Lover in “IS THAT YOU?”

MOVIE REVIEW: A Man’s Journey for a Longtime Lover in “IS THAT YOU?”
22 agosto 15:53 2016 Imprimir

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By Roger Costa

Pursuing a promise he had made several decades ago to the greatest lover of his life, a 60-year old recently unemployed projectionist, leaves Israel to arrive in the US where he’ll defy time, age and territory in a quest for Rachel, a longtime lover for whom he cultivates a passionate fondness.

Ronnie, played by popular Israeli actor Alon Aboutboul (he appeared recently in “London Has Fallen”), first seeks his brother’s help, who gets him some “modern advises” on sex, women and Internet connections, as well as lending him one of his cars- each curiously named after the women he slept with before getting married.

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With an uncertain address, Ronnie gets on the road initiating his American road trip, but is suddenly stuck, as the car breaks down. A passing-thru woman Myla (a lovely performance by Naruna Kaplan de Macedo) provides him some mechanical help, in exchange for his testimony in front of her cameras- she’s collecting people’s stories as she’s gardening a documentary.

She is impressed by his love story of devotion, and detailing on their romantic encounters with such nostalgic intensity that she decides helping him on his journey to reach Rachel- wherever she is, and whatever she has become.

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Directed with enormous sensitivity by Dani Menkin, the meeting captures the essence of these two characters’ profoundly silent emotions: as they develop an ambiguously tender connection, the narrative exposes the intimacy of his loneliness and her despair; as he’s running after something lost in the past, she’s running away from her past, as well as they share the common fact of dealing with estranged family bonds. But the film doesn’t focus on the melancholic aspects, despite both characters’ conditions; instead, the director fully explores the perfect chemistry shared by the pair of actors and their provoking interactions, as well as creating a sense of real human experiences with good humor and funny observations. Director Dani Menkin also adds up some hillarious debauchery, such as the nephew describing how Ronnie should write messages to “get girls” on the web, or a visit to the granny who continuously smokes medical marijuana.

Winner of the Israeli Academy Award for Best Independent Film, “IS THAT YOU?” is a smart and uplifting comedy about never giving up on true love, the power of forgiveness and the unexpected twists of life.

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IS THAT YOU? (A Hey Jude Productions Release. Opens Friday, August 26th at Cinema Village in NYC and at Laemmle Theaters in LA in September.)


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