Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: Yossi

A dramatically challenging sequel, given warmly effective heart and soul by lead actor Ohad Knoller.

Jan 23, 2013

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1370658-Yossi_Review_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Eytan Fox’s Yossi & Jagger was one of the most shatteringly powerful gay films ever made. The film’s ending left Yossi (Ohad Knoller) alone after the death of his soldier lover, Jagger, and for anyone who ever wondered what happened to him, Yossi provides the answer.
Fox picks up the story ten years later and finds Yossi now a cardiologist in Tel Aviv, who buries himself in work and is a in a terminally depressed, emotionally cut-off state. The despair of everyone around him, his romantic-sexual outlets express themselves in online porn and often soulless, anonymous Internet hook-ups.

Fox is indeed fortunate in having Knoller reprise his role of Yossi for, in the hands of any other actor, this gloom-laden, Mahler-listening character may well have been insufferable, such an indefatigable downer is he. He refuses to listen to the life-loving blandishments of his fellow doctor, Moti (the suavely appealing Lior Ashkenazi), whom he secretly desires, and instead sets off on a road trip to volatile Sinai. This he does, incidentally, after sadly spurning the advances of another female co-worker and, ever the one to spread good cheer, visiting Jagger’s mourning parents to inform them of their secret relationship, news which goes down like another air strike.

Throughout, Knoller manages to grip your attention and empathy. In a disastrous online dating encounter, when a sleek A-list-type gay derides him physically for being old and overweight, his stoic yet bereft reaction is simply heartbreaking.

Things lift considerably when Yossi reaches Sinai and encounters a group of soldiers he gives a ride to. One of them, Tom (Oz Zehavi, good and sexy), seems far more simpatico than the other roughnecks and, amazingly—but this is, after all, a movie—seems just as attracted to Yossi as our protagonist is to him. After all that suffering, Fox gives his hero the most idyllic of happy endings, and if it seems too far-fetched or happy to you, please see E.M. Forster’s Maurice.

Fox’s skills as a filmmaker, forever boldly tackling gay subject matter, have grown considerably through the years and he maintains a sure hand over the emotionally fraught material. Yossi is extremely simply shot, taking full advantage of the arid, visual beauty of the desert, yet this very simplicity accentuates the quiet power of the story and, for all his immobile moroseness, it is indeed good to have Yossi back.



Film Review: Yossi

A dramatically challenging sequel, given warmly effective heart and soul by lead actor Ohad Knoller.

Jan 23, 2013

-By David Noh


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1370658-Yossi_Review_Md.jpg

For movie details, please click here.

Eytan Fox’s Yossi & Jagger was one of the most shatteringly powerful gay films ever made. The film’s ending left Yossi (Ohad Knoller) alone after the death of his soldier lover, Jagger, and for anyone who ever wondered what happened to him, Yossi provides the answer.
Fox picks up the story ten years later and finds Yossi now a cardiologist in Tel Aviv, who buries himself in work and is a in a terminally depressed, emotionally cut-off state. The despair of everyone around him, his romantic-sexual outlets express themselves in online porn and often soulless, anonymous Internet hook-ups.

Fox is indeed fortunate in having Knoller reprise his role of Yossi for, in the hands of any other actor, this gloom-laden, Mahler-listening character may well have been insufferable, such an indefatigable downer is he. He refuses to listen to the life-loving blandishments of his fellow doctor, Moti (the suavely appealing Lior Ashkenazi), whom he secretly desires, and instead sets off on a road trip to volatile Sinai. This he does, incidentally, after sadly spurning the advances of another female co-worker and, ever the one to spread good cheer, visiting Jagger’s mourning parents to inform them of their secret relationship, news which goes down like another air strike.

Throughout, Knoller manages to grip your attention and empathy. In a disastrous online dating encounter, when a sleek A-list-type gay derides him physically for being old and overweight, his stoic yet bereft reaction is simply heartbreaking.

Things lift considerably when Yossi reaches Sinai and encounters a group of soldiers he gives a ride to. One of them, Tom (Oz Zehavi, good and sexy), seems far more simpatico than the other roughnecks and, amazingly—but this is, after all, a movie—seems just as attracted to Yossi as our protagonist is to him. After all that suffering, Fox gives his hero the most idyllic of happy endings, and if it seems too far-fetched or happy to you, please see E.M. Forster’s Maurice.

Fox’s skills as a filmmaker, forever boldly tackling gay subject matter, have grown considerably through the years and he maintains a sure hand over the emotionally fraught material. Yossi is extremely simply shot, taking full advantage of the arid, visual beauty of the desert, yet this very simplicity accentuates the quiet power of the story and, for all his immobile moroseness, it is indeed good to have Yossi back.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

May in the Summer
Film Review: May in the Summer

Jordanian brides, their sisters, difficult moms and diffident men would seem to have a lot in common with Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, Katherine Heigl and other WASP princesses with their own predictable white-gown blues in countless rom-coms. More »

To be Takei
Film Review: To Be Takei

The kaleidoscopic life of the Enterprise's chauffeur—an Asian and gay showbiz pioneer—is explored in this entertaining but diffuse documentary. More »

K2: Siren of the Himalayas
Film Review: K2: Siren of the Himalayas

Mountaineering documentary follows an expedition to K2 in the Himalayas. More »

The Possession of Michael King
Film Review: The Possession of Michael King

All unhappy families may be unhappy in their own way, but movies about possession/exorcism tend to a numbing sameness. That said, The Possession of Michael King, yet another "found footage" frightener, whips up some creepy moments and features a strong performance by Shane Johnson as the atheist who makes the mistake of daring the Devil to prove he's not just another bogeyman. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
Film Review: Sin City: A Dame to Kill For

Neither significantly better nor worse than its predecessor, the belated Sin City sequel is more of a repeat, rather than a continuation, of the original. More »

If I Stay
Film Review: If I Stay

Delivers as promised. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here