This afternoon, I went to see Uruguay’s contender for the best foreign film Oscar, called “Mr. Kaplan“. Jacob Kaplan is a 76 year old man who feels he hasn’t made his mark in the world. He has been married for 50 years and has two adult sons but he doesn’t feel that is enough. His parents got him out of Poland before they were wiped out and he remembers his father telling him to accomplish something remarkable. Jacob has just lost his driver’s license due to failing eyesight and his family feel he might be losing his mind so they hire Wilson Contreas, an ex-cop who has lost his job and his wife and 5 children, due to his brother-in-law, to be his driver.

At one point Jacob hears his granddaughter talking about an old guy who owns a café on the beach and is referred to as ‘the Nazi’. A light goes off in Jacob’s head after he hears a news report about an old war criminal found in Argentina and is being expedited to Israel  and he feels he has found that remarkable deed he could do to make his life worthwhile. Jacob enlists Wilson to help him kidnap the ‘Nazi’ and smuggle him to Israel.

In a way it is like watching Don Quixote and his inept Sancho Panza making many mistakes in their quest for one to bring his life to a close and the other to regain his family. The film is a comedy with an underlying Holocaust theme that leads to an unexpected ending.

Hector Noguera, as Jacob Kaplan, walks a fine line between possibly entering dementia and yet having a mission he believes in and wants to accomplish.  Nestor Guzzini as Wilson, a slovenly fat, possible alcoholic and a romantic comes through for Jacob and the actors play against each other with élan. Rolf Becker as the possible Nazi  doesn’t have much to say but when he is called upon near the end of the movie he comes through completely.

Nidia Telles as Jacob’s wife, Gustavo Saffores and Hugo Piccinini as his sons along with Nuria Flo as the granddaughter  provide the feeling of Jewish families all over the world.

Directed and written by Alvaro Brechner “Mr. Kaplan” is a short–98 minutes– interesting film with Spanish and Yiddish dialogue with English subtitles. Everything is first class technically and not being familiar with the beaches of Uruguay it was part of the flavor of the film seeing them.



Posted March 10, 2015 by greatmartin in Uncategorized

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One response to ““MR. KAPLAN”–A MOVIE REVIEW

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  1. Oh dear, cant get into the trailer (error occurred!) But, its an interesting read…will we get it in Australia?

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