The Burial Society (2003)
Directed by Nicholas Racz, The Burial Society revolves around the life of Sheldon Kasner, whose existence, as of late, has turned to one of quiet desperation. His workload is increasing as his compensation for it continues to dwindle, and Sheldon understandably falls into a deep depression. Despite being a highly unlikely candidate for organized crime, he is drawn into a complicit money-laundering scam that doesn't run as smoothly as planned. With a two-million-dollar debt on his hands, Sheldon concocts a sophisticated scheme: staging his own death with the help of the Chevrah Kadisha, or the "Burial Society," an anonymous, mysterious group of devout Jewish men who have dedicated themselves to preparing bodies for their final resting place. Unbeknownst to Sheldon, the Burial Society sees the inept businessman as the only hope for the survival of their tradition. As they indoctrinate him into their eccentric, ritualistic world, Sheldon believes his life is slowly getting back on track; however, the men of the Burial Society may have something else in mind for him. … More
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Critic Reviews for The Burial Society
Falls prey to a creeping structural rigor mortis that sets in early.
Features fine performances by a cast of veteran actors but is marred by its unconvincing back story.
Scrambling to find a place in the Coen brothers' shadow, Racz tries too hard to manufacture a sense of zany unpredictability, but each new twist only reveals Sheldon as the soulless opportunist that he is.
With a plot that is at once needlessly complicated and maddeningly careless, the movie veers unsteadily between farce and crime drama and never really engages the viewer.
The Burial Society is definitely big on plot, but can the thing dance? Short answer: It's no Astaire.
The twisty storyline does have its moments, but eventually the actors are reduced to wearing the requirements of the plot like pairs of cement shoes.
The feature debut of writer-director Nicholas Racz is twisty and clever, if not a reinvention of the genre.
The film plays like an old episode of Alfred Hitchcock Presents, with a resolution that's truly unpredictable.
The appeal of The Burial Society lays in its unusual and obscure take on an otherwise mundane tale of greed, treachery and double-cross.
Spiritual on the one hand and street tough on the other - a cross between The Jewish Sopranos and Six Feet Under And Kosher.
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