Number of Times Seen – 2 (16 Oct 2008 and 7 Oct 2018)
Brief Synopsis – Two friends who meet in New York city travel to fight on opposing sides in the battle between Arabs and Jews over a small strip of land in the Middle East surrounding the City of Jerusalem which is holy to three religions.
My Take on it – This is a film that I recall seeing about a decade ago and recalled it being good, but not great.
I was interested in refreshing my memory of the story as it is told here, so I decided to give it another chance.
The idea itself is quite a good one, but since they fail to follow through on it, it ultimately comes across as too forced.
The overall basis of the story is hinged on the friendship of two men; an Arab and a Jew, but the bond between them isn’t developed well enough and instead of showing them form a deep emotional friendship over the course of the film, they rush things at the beginning and it seems too superficial.
By choosing to do things this way, they make it quite difficult to actually believe that such a friendship can truly exist.
The story, as it’s told, weaves together facts with fiction and they actually do it quite fluidly but for those of them much more familiar with the history and geography of this conflict will find that it just doesn’t work well enough due to many inconsistencies along the way.
The overall premise of the film is a great one that had they added more of a backbone to the story, would have worked much better, but unfortunately, they don’t manage to do so.
Bottom Line – Very interesting idea that isn’t followed through well enough. The basis for the story would feel much stronger if they were able to take the time to develop the bond between the characters on a deeper level. Since it’s done superficially, its very difficult to believe such a friendship could actually exist. The story weaves together fact and fiction and does so pretty well for those that don’t know the difference, but for those of us who are familiar with the history and geography of the area, it just doesn’t work well enough. The overall premise of the film is a good one, but it lacks the backbone to show that it really could work which is quite unfortunate.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – A news bulletin heard on a radio reports that the ship Exodus full of Jewish immigrants bound for Palestine is threatening to blow itself up in port in Cyprus. The real Aliyah Bet ship “Exodus 1947” sailed from Marseilles and was impounded in Haifa. The story told on the radio is actually from the 1958 Leon Uris novel “Exodus”. (From IMDB)
Rating – BAFTA Worthy (6/10)
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