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View All Eyes Wide Open (Einaym Pkuhot) News
All Critics (33)
| Top Critics (10)
| Fresh (28)
| Rotten (5)
| DVD (3)
Those interested in viewing a lifestyle they never knew--that of the pious gay--while the acceptance of homosexuality is an issue around the world, will be enlightened by this film.
The unusually subtle yet eloquent debut of Israeli director Haim Tabakman...
Slow and often silent, it's an extraordinarily disciplined film that respects, if not honours, the milieu of its story...
Eschews sentimentality and pathos, instead letting body language and the dusty, gloomy streets of Jerusalem shape the story.
It moves slowly and patiently through the ordeal of a single soul, illuminating in the process a cosmos of intense and hidden feeling.
Quiet, sober and tense, the movie makes some interesting points, but it lacks the emotional firepower of Brokeback Mountain.
The movie respects the Jewish tradition of inquiry and debate; it unreels as a sort of dramatic dialogue that acknowledges the benefits and terrors of both religious fundamentalism and personal freedom.
This restrained piece from first-time Israeli film-maker Haim Tabakman explores the tension between faith and sexuality in Jerusalem.
The simplicity of the tale is its strength and the acting of Zohar Strauss as Aaron and Ran Danker as Ezri is entirely natural.
It's almost impossible to imagine anyone making a gay romance between two orthodox Jews. And yet this film is subtle and sensitive, and full of earthy honesty as it explores a seriously difficult situation.
A sensitively directed and movingly acted story of forbidden love.
A very human story quietly unfolds with a compelling understatement in this dour but deeply-felt drama from director Haim Tabakman.
A simple, powerful and intense Israeli drama about desire versus religious faith in Jerusalem, presenting an extremely engaging forbidden love story between two orthodox Jewish men whose profound feelings for each other grow incredibly real.
Eyes Wide Open is my official introduction to Israeli cinema and I must say it's a weak start. While the film which is a directorial debut is well organized, it's to pessimistic. I felt like I was a watching a holocaust movie for Gods sake. The opening scene showed two depressing men in a gloomy raining setting, the whole film continued like that. It was a drama queen, and not a particularly entertaining one. As a drama it tried to hard to make the audience depressed, and based on the critical reception it worked, I didn't suck into it though.
"We cannot go on like this. I have a wife, family, children."
"And I have only you."
Subtle, downplayed drama with more than a passing resemblance to Brokeback Mountain both in terms of its slow pace and constant tone and its content, Eyes Wide Open shines a light on a subject that does not got enough attention. Haim Tabakman's direction is assured, frequently inventive (there's one especially brilliant shot involving the reflections from a passing van) but never 'showy', allowing the characters to 'breathe' and the story to flow naturally. Often bleak and occasionally funny, there are no happy endings; hardly surprising given the awful life homosexuals have to live in the Jewish Orthodox community. A very apt title, to boot.
A movie about homosexuals in an orthodox Jewish environment sounds like something that could go horribly wrong, but we're lucky, Eyes Wide Open pulls it off as is lovely little movie. The movie is lighthearted without neglecting realism or bordering on silly but also serious without becoming too hard to digest. The overall style of the film is subtle and observational, so expect no Brokeback Mountain tearjerkers or quirky gayness as in Philip Morris. Instead, we are granted a look inside a tightly (too tightly) knit community where those who strain from the path are cast out. The film relies on the viewer drawing his own conclusions when it comes to the emotional states of the actors. In line with the core concept of keeping up appearances, it is hard to look behind the emotional facades of the protagonists, despite the internal struggle being aptly portrayed by both actors to a very good extent. My respect goes out for addressing the issue alone, but on top of that, Eyes Wide Open is an impressive and enjoyable piece of film-making.
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