Dallas Movie Screening

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Monday, April 13, 2015

DIFF2015: Mr. Kaplan

I was starting to get scared if there was not going be as funny as a film as this one at the festival. “Mr. Kaplan” was an almost slapstick comedy about an old man who escaped Auschwitz to escape to South America. He has been living in Uruguay with his family for 50 years and thinks that he has found an old Nazi. He hires his driver to investigate this man with him in hopes of kidnapping the criminal and sending him to Israel for trial. I thoroughly enjoyed this films take on the after effects of WWII. Instead of involving that subject to be a sad film they turned it into a superb comedy. The first triggering comedic scene was when there is a check box of what some older people did at their elderly age. Yankele, the film’s lead, is thinking of what he has accomplished which to him is nothing. The check boxes appear one at a time with a portrait of famous accomplished people in the background. When it appears with Yankele there is a slow absence of a check in the box. I feel that the character feels like he will accomplish something finite for his people if he captures this Nazi. He seems washed up and unsatisfied with his years on the earth. The other main character, Wilson the driver, is a really washed up jobless person. He has five kids with a woman but his brother-in-law, whom he lied for to keep him free, is keeping Wilson from seeing them. Wilson seems like a caring person who is kind but also dumb. There is an early scene where Wilson thinks that the so called Nazi is not one really while Yankele is saying the exact opposite. This total opposite thinking sort of provides for this movie’s meat. There is also a point where Yankele has slept in the sun and becomes scorching red while Wilson is getting drunk at the bar. Wilson’s laugh when he sees his old man buddy just can’t help but transport the funniness to the audience. There is a time where the prostitute daughter from the “Nazi” offers sex when asked by the duo to speak with her. Those couple of lines have perfect comedic timing with shock from Wilson. Later in the film it is revealed that Yankele has blood pressure problems and will die soon. The family is told not to tell him and while the film continues on one experiences the irony. Yankele is a persevering man and Wilson is with him while taking on a painful look at his own personal problems. I love the feeling of companionship brought on by friendship comedy films and that’s what I got today. Awesome job Latin America!
(Review by Wyatt Head)

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