“INDIGNATION”–A MOVIE REVIEW   Leave a comment

It is 1955 and Marcus brought up and raised in Newark, New Jersey, to Jewish parents is 18 and his way off to college. In 1955 I was raised by Jewish parents in the Bronx, New York, was 19 and serving in Korea as a United States Marine. I could identify with Marcus only in that we are both Jewish and were raised in the Northeast, otherwise we were as different as night and day and I find it hard to believe he and I existed in the same world.

Every aspect of the film from the designers, customers, automobiles, streets and the cinematography scream the 1950s and the actors are at the top of their game but this is not the world I knew and grew up in. As natural as it is for Marcus to get A’s in school that is how natural it was for me to get sex in and out of school. What Marcus experienced at 18 for the first time I experienced at 13.

It might not be fair for me to compare my life with that of a movie screen/novel life but that was the main reason I went to see the “Indignation” and walked out very disappointed. The ‘only’ things wrong with the film are the direction and the screenplay both by James Schamus. Everything is a bit off and story lines don’t follow up important aspects.

One glaring example is the story of Olivia which we are only allowed to see the surface of what has made her the way she is. I couldn’t help but think of Natalie Wood in “Splendor in the Grass’ where we get into the psyche of why the girl is the way she is. What we do get is more from the acting by Sarah Gadon as Olivia saying things with her face where the script deserts her.

Logan Lerman, as Marcus, makes us care for him though he is a bit obnoxious and overbearing who you sometimes just want to slap and say “Snap out of it!” (Thanks Cher!) His innocence in his scenes with Sarah Gadon is touching just as his scenes with the school’s dean played by Tracy Letts is funny and go deeper into the main character. Their scenes together in the latter’s office jump off the screen.

An untold story that should have been delved into more is that of Marcus’s parents Linda Emond and Danny Burstein that takes a dark turn and is left there just as Ben Rosenfield’s character as Marcus’s roommate disappears at the halfway point along with another roommate played by Philip Ettinger not to forget the head of the Jewish fraternity played by Pico Alexander who is brought in for one scene to explain a key point which may or may not be true.

We are asked to accept all the characters as they appear and yet, all except one, have deeper aspects that would have made each more forceful. The exception to this is Tracy Letts as his dean is just who he seems to be.

With a lot of voice over and too much not having reasons for the actions “Indignation” needed more drama and more dramatics and seems a lot longer than the hour and fifty minutes running time.

The bottom line is the main reason to see “Indignation” is the acting by newcomers and vets alike.

MOVIE TRAILER

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ELKsrUssyQE

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Posted August 5, 2016 by greatmartin in MOVIE REVIEW, MOVIES, Uncategorized

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