select theatersFriday, May 29 Felix
and Meira had every opportunity to wow and engage but sadly nothing
about this film ever seems to connect. That is disappointing on many
levels but mainly because the characters are so interesting and thought
(Hadas Yaron) is a young,
Hasidic Jewish wife and mother who feels trapped within the rules and
regulations of her Orthodox community. She likes popular music, art,
and culture. You get the sense that she isn't rebellious as much as
searching. When she strikes up a casual friendship with Felix, a single
man who lives in her neighborhood, it causes her to stray even further
from her marriage and her responsibilities. The two offer a bit of solace
to each other and soon things begin to get more than platonic. All of
this to the obvious and expected frustration of her husband Shulem (Luzer
is a complex character and Yaron plays the role expertly. This Israeli
actress is not unfamiliar to the culture and is convincing in her performance.
You feel Meira's sadness and lack of passion for her current situation.
You understand why she is drawn to Felix. Still she isn't flagrant about
her actions. She it torn between two extremes and wrestles with the
guilt. This is about the only depth in the script we see.
scenes themselves are disjointed and forced. You have no trouble following
the story but it is also easy to get bored with it. The conversations
for the most part are thin and unresolved. The moments that come
even close to dramatic are when a frustrated Shulem tries his
best to get Meira to understand the fractures her actions are causing.
But even these fizzle and misfire too often. There are character traits
that are shown and then never given a fair chance to shine. The most
powerful interaction is a conversation that Felix and Shulem have near
the end of the film. As they sit across the table from each other you
are fixed on every word. It is this emotion that needed to happen from
the beginning on. By the time it does come it is too late.
positive point worth mentioning is how the writers (Maxime
Giroux, Alexandre Laferri╦re)
handle Shulem's character. It is easy for those of us outside the strict
Orthodox community to applaud Meira for trying to live her life. We
can look at her household as one of bondage and old fashioned regulations.
But it is clear that Shulem loves Meira dearly. You see that he mainly
wants her to obey in order not to lose respect and bring shame on the
family. He is a good husband and wants what is best for his daughter
and wife. Even if that seems so outlandish to you and I.
AND MEIRA is rated R for a scene of sexuality/nudity. I am surprised
that this film has an R rating. If it was for the one brief moment of
sexuality/nudity that seems a bit harsh. Other than the actual themes
and story line being adult geared there is nothing content wise to warrant
any sort of warning. In fact director Maxime
Giroux could have easily left that one moment out and gotten a tame
PG-13. Regardless the film itself is too sporadic and lukewarm to matter.
It ends with a ho hum and a casualness that makes it forgettable.
I give it 2 out of 5 passports. It should have been better. 2015 Mungleshow Productions.
All rights reserved.