This year, the Rochester International Jewish Film Festival made a
good-faith effort to screen more comedies. (Apparently, that's what
last year's viewers requested.) I admire their effort, but, from my
perspective, most of the films simply weren't funny. In fact, the only
film that I found truly funny was the French movie, "Serial Bad
Weddings." (I'll post a review of that film in a day or two.) The
problem--in this context--is that "Serial Bad Weddings" wasn't really a
Jewish film. "Dough," which was a Jewish film, wasn't that funny. It's
about Nat, a tough old man who is trying to maintain his Jewish bakery,
and the young Muslim man from Darfur whom he hires to help him.
The film was directed by John Goldschmidt. Jonathan Pryce stars as the baker, and he's a brilliant actor. The rest of the actors were quite good, although the two villains--one a drug dealer and one a businessman--are ridiculous stock characters. They should have been shown with tall black hats, twirling their mustaches. I thought the second best actor in the film was Melanie Freeman, who played Nat's granddaughter, Olivia. Her role was to be bonded to her grandfather, and her job was to be adorable. Adorable child actors can be truly tedious, but not in this case. Freeman really was adorable, and the screen lit up when she was on it.
This was a pretty good film. I believe it would have been better without the comic parts. The movie had a point to make about family businesses, traditions, and reaching out to people who need your help. I would have moved forward in those directions, and not have worried about trying to be funny. The director and producer made a choice, which is what directors and producers do. I disagree with that choice, which is what reviewers sometimes do.
We saw this film at the Dryden Theatre, as part of the highly praised Rochester International Jewish Film Festival. It will work well on the small screen.
Comedy / Drama
Comedy / Drama
Safa Habimana, is an immigrant in Britain who is struggling to make ends meet, with the hope that one day, she and her teenage son will reunite with her husband. On the other hand, her son Ayyash, a troubled young Muslim with lots of time in his hands, has no interest in anything except how to spend the time with his friends and make easy money. An occurrence caused by bad luck and even worse timing, will bring the Police on his doorstep forcing Safa to take drastic measures. So she sets up an appointment with Nat, a Jew baker for whom she works for asking him to take Ayyash as an apprentice. Beginnings are usually hard at first, but as time moves on, business flourish and customers rush in, a strong bond will develop between the two men, unbeknownst to them that problems are just around the corner...
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August 04, 2016 at 08:22 AM