May 22, 2006

'Everything is Illuminated'


A delightful movie set in Ukraine that reminded me of the award winning movie " Life is Beautiful' by Roberto Benini. The humorous and the sombre are beautifully woven together in a setting almost pastoral. The story revolves around a young Jewish American, Jonathan, who travels to Ukraine in search of a woman who had befriended his grandfather during World War II and had helped his grandfather escape to the USA. Jonathan has a compulsive need to collect random items as memorablia for remembering people/ things/ incidents that he is afraid he'd otherwise forget. It is comical to see Jonathan pulling out ziplock bags with an ease and the elan of a check out clerk in a grocery store. Then there is Alex, Jonathan's young translator, who loves America and everything American, but speaks English that comes straight out of a thesaurus and that makes for some really funny dialogues. Alex's gandfather, the third in the trio and also the driver of the car they are travelling in claims to be partially blind and thus has an additional passenger in the car: a 'crazy''see' bitch.

The journey they undertake is laden with grave and sinister undertones, but the interaction of this foursome in the antiquated car makes for some great humor and the viewer every now and again forgets the sombre nature of Jonathan's mission until the plot intervenes. The plot, though serious, is not maudlin and the events can therefore be chewed upon before being swallowed.

The movie makes for some good comedy even while it brings forth some harsh truths about life during the Holocaust. It is about illuminating a past, in the light of which not only do the present day relationships get enlightened but even the future looks a lot brighter.

24 comments:

Maya Cassis said...

wow,this really sounds like a lovely movie.I shall keep an eye out for it and you have written a lovely review on it :)

bablu said...

Looks like a must see. The plot is very interesting.

brokenshard said...

sounds cool... will add that to my ever growing list of "must-watch" stuff...

EXSENO said...

Hmm, I've never heard of it, but you certainly make me want to see it.

karmic_jay said...

Think I saw the trailer. This is the one with Elijah Woods? I wondered if it would be worth watching. But now that I read your review I should add it to my netflix queue.

starry nights said...

Sounds like a good movie. thanks for the review.

Wild Reeds said...

Wow sounds like an intriguing theme. Thanks for sharing.

_Jonathan_ said...

I really love this kind of movies. I wanna watch it soon.
Great review!. I would like to see what happens with this Jonathan.
Bye Bye

Invincible said...

looks like a must watch.

I m here after a long time. How have u been?

lash said...

seems like this is a "MUST WATCH"

Anything in the league of Life is beautiful must be a good watch. thanks for this

Dr. Deborah Serani said...

I must SEE this one!

Id it is said...

invincible,
Yes, it's been long. Glad to see you're back now, but I'm still unable to access your blog?

Khakra said...

wouldn't be surprising if the vehicle they jumbled up in was a Lada! the old dinosaur of a russian vehicle is still a hot seller in the ex-communist nations. And Ukrainians love... value for money, oh yeah they do. thanks for sharing the movie...

lash said...

i gifted this one to a friend of mine and he was mighty impressed :))

irony: i couldnt watch the movie though :)

anyway thanks for this.

lash said...

hey this was what i was thinkin about forawhile... evrything is illuminated was originally a book by Jonathan Foer. ever since u wrote this i was wondering where i had this name before!! now i know.

Id it is said...

lash,
Yes indeed the movie is based on Foer's novel that I haven't had a chance to read, and I doubt that will, now that I've seen the movie. Does that happen to everyone, I wonder; not wanting to read the novel after having seen its film version.

lash said...

no, but i guess it has happened to you :)

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