Year:  2022

Director:  Moshe Rosenthal

Release:  October 28 – November 28, 2022

Running time: 103 minutes

Worth: $16.00
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Sasson Gabay, Rita Shukrun, Lior Ashkenazi

… manages to dig deep, but it does so with a light touch …

Moshe Rosenthal’s engaging drama manages to dig deep, but it does so with a light touch, if that is not a contradiction in terms.

It is a story of a middle aged, middle class Israeli couple. Meir (Sasson Gabay) is a little shy but gives the sense that he might have hidden depths. At one time, he wanted to be an actor, but he got deflected. His wife Tova (Rita Sukrun) is vivacious but, like Meir, a bit stuck in a rut. They live in a comfortable high-rise apartment with their two grown up daughters who sometimes laugh at mum and dad’s pretensions and attempts to be young again.

When silver-haired playboy type Itsik (a great performance from Lior Ashkenazi) moves in with his Maserati and his party-based lifestyle, Meir and Tova are both a little dazzled.

Initially, it is Tova who flirts with Itsik, even getting a little drunk in his penthouse and showing off her version of Rembetiko Greek dancing. Meir, in his way, falls even deeper under Itsik’s spell. The way the couple face up to the fault lines that this exciting stranger has exposed in their life and marriage, forms the throughline of the film.

It is a deliberately small canvas, but Rosenthal keeps the pacing right and the portrait of the couple is so convincing and well-played that we really invest in what happens to them. Ashekenazi has the more showy role, but he too is subtle and real, and he goes beyond the playboy stereotype in a way that makes us understand him at a human level.

A nicely-judged little film that deserves a wider audience.