freedom fighters never die, they just get increasingly irascible. Indeed, even
in his advanced years, nobody trifles with Jonathan’s estranged grandfather
Eliyahu, who was manning the barricades long before 1948. After the untimely death of his father, the socially awkward middle
schooler will get close enough to grandpappy to plan an audacious bank job in
Reshef Levi’s Hunting Elephants (trailer here), which opens this
Friday in select theaters.
is a tough kid to love, but somehow Daniel, his bank security guard father did.
Unfortunately, when he witnesses his father’s heart attack demise, Deddy the
jerkheel manager uses his unauthorized presence to deny Daniel’s death
benefits. Much to Jonathan’s disgust, his emotionally and financially needy
mother Dorit takes up with the oily Deddy soon thereafter. Suddenly in need of
a minder for Jonathan, Dorit starts dumping him off at Eliyahu’s nursing home.
Initially, the old codger is less than thrilled, but he and his old crony Nick
start to like having him around.
is also delighted when his long lost thespian Uncle Mike (a.k.a. Lord Michael Simpson)
turns up. He is definitely one of those cash poor blue bloods. To get some payback
and a few million Euros, Jonathan convinces the old-timers to stage a bank
heist, utilizing his father’s inside knowledge.
yes, its Going in Style in Israel,
but the tone is considerably lighter. In a role originally conceived for John
Cleese, Sir Patrick Stewart hams it up something fierce as the hammy Lord
Michael. Clearly, he is not above playing to the Summer Stock crowd, which
makes him a good sport. However, veteran Israeli actor Sasson Gabai (probably
best known in America for The Band’s Visit) shows how to play the grouchy grandpa while maintaining a sense of
dignified gravitas. Moni Moshonov charts a middle course between them as the
genial, mild mannered, and slightly addled Nick.
Despite the occasional excesses of Lord Michael’s
flamboyance, Hunting is a pleasant
film to spend time with, springing a reasonably fresh twist here and there,
especially by the standards of family-friendly comedies. Stand-up comic Levi
executes the bank robbery business surprisingly adroitly and he is relatively
restrained when it comes to the sentiment. It is small in scale, but determined
to entertain. Recommended for fans of Israeli cinema and feel-pretty-good capers,
Hunting Elephants opens this Friday
(5/8), in major markets.
Labels: Caper movies, Israeli Cinema, Patrick Stewart, Sasson Gabai