Ha-shoter (Policeman) Reviews

  • Walter M Super Reviewer
    Jun 20, 2014

    While some might be disappointed that "Policeman" does not resemble an average fast-paced episode of "Flashpoint," the movie's deliberate pace does allow for a thoughtful examination of today's Israel and the fractures that exist just beneath the surface. While the police and terrorists might not seem to have anything in common, they actually do, in that they resolve their disputes through violence. Yaron(Yiftach Klein) is the leader of an elite police unit who is also soon to be a father. As such, he looks after his wife Nili's(Meital Barda) every need, even carrying her very pregnant person up several flights of stairs. He is also lecherous enough to hit on a waitress who it turns out is only 15. Ariel(Gal Hoyberger), one of his comrades, has a tumor and the other men in the unit pity him before shifting the blame on a massacre onto him, albeit with his approval. By contrast, the terrorists do make some valid points. However, Shira(Yaara Pelzig), their spokesperson, is about the only stereotype in a movie full of three dimensional characters, as she seems to be a spoiled young otherwise undecided rich woman who is simply involved in the movement as a way of rebelling against her parents. But Pelzig's fierce performance makes up for some of that. With an intriguing structure that stays exclusively with each group for an act, I am still a little befuddled by the movie's final shot, like I missed something I should have been paying attention to earlier.

    While some might be disappointed that "Policeman" does not resemble an average fast-paced episode of "Flashpoint," the movie's deliberate pace does allow for a thoughtful examination of today's Israel and the fractures that exist just beneath the surface. While the police and terrorists might not seem to have anything in common, they actually do, in that they resolve their disputes through violence. Yaron(Yiftach Klein) is the leader of an elite police unit who is also soon to be a father. As such, he looks after his wife Nili's(Meital Barda) every need, even carrying her very pregnant person up several flights of stairs. He is also lecherous enough to hit on a waitress who it turns out is only 15. Ariel(Gal Hoyberger), one of his comrades, has a tumor and the other men in the unit pity him before shifting the blame on a massacre onto him, albeit with his approval. By contrast, the terrorists do make some valid points. However, Shira(Yaara Pelzig), their spokesperson, is about the only stereotype in a movie full of three dimensional characters, as she seems to be a spoiled young otherwise undecided rich woman who is simply involved in the movement as a way of rebelling against her parents. But Pelzig's fierce performance makes up for some of that. With an intriguing structure that stays exclusively with each group for an act, I am still a little befuddled by the movie's final shot, like I missed something I should have been paying attention to earlier.

  • Jun 17, 2014

    IT'S RAINING MANLY MEN: My take on the movies The Rover and Policeman http://ow.ly/y8byM

    IT'S RAINING MANLY MEN: My take on the movies The Rover and Policeman http://ow.ly/y8byM

  • William H Super Reviewer
    Sep 19, 2013

    Only gets interesting in the last half hour

    Only gets interesting in the last half hour

  • Jul 03, 2013

    An apparent attempt to dig underneath and subvert stereotypes of macho police instead immerses itself in them nearly to the point of parody. The structure, avoiding the more common technique of inter-cutting stories, instead presents them, for the most part, in two segments, followed by a third in which they are somewhat inter-cut as they converge. The performances are fine. The story good enough. But there's not much especially noteworthy here.

    An apparent attempt to dig underneath and subvert stereotypes of macho police instead immerses itself in them nearly to the point of parody. The structure, avoiding the more common technique of inter-cutting stories, instead presents them, for the most part, in two segments, followed by a third in which they are somewhat inter-cut as they converge. The performances are fine. The story good enough. But there's not much especially noteworthy here.

  • May 21, 2013

    Good directorial debut, but the characters are not quite convincing, very "petit bourgeois" and not smart enough to obtain our sympathy.

    Good directorial debut, but the characters are not quite convincing, very "petit bourgeois" and not smart enough to obtain our sympathy.

  • Mar 12, 2013

    Policía ganó en el BAFICI de 2012 en las categorías de Mejor Película y Mejor Director además de otros premios dentro del circuito de festivales; ahora, dejando de lado el reconocimiento, Policía es un relato breve que se apega a lo que sucede dentro de la sociedad israelí, mostrando así un retrato desde el punto de vista de los que hacen cumplir la ley y de los que la infringen. Es una película que maneja un ritmo lento que se aleja del estereotipado policiaco de acción y persecuciones, que incluye además una crítica fuerte a los jóvenes y sus ideas contestarias que por lo general en ciertas circunstancias derivan en el fracaso. Se deja ver, en especial por las actuaciones que están a todo dar.

    Policía ganó en el BAFICI de 2012 en las categorías de Mejor Película y Mejor Director además de otros premios dentro del circuito de festivales; ahora, dejando de lado el reconocimiento, Policía es un relato breve que se apega a lo que sucede dentro de la sociedad israelí, mostrando así un retrato desde el punto de vista de los que hacen cumplir la ley y de los que la infringen. Es una película que maneja un ritmo lento que se aleja del estereotipado policiaco de acción y persecuciones, que incluye además una crítica fuerte a los jóvenes y sus ideas contestarias que por lo general en ciertas circunstancias derivan en el fracaso. Se deja ver, en especial por las actuaciones que están a todo dar.

  • Sep 23, 2012

    Ei onnistunut välittämään katsomoon mitä halusi sanoa!

    Ei onnistunut välittämään katsomoon mitä halusi sanoa!

  • Sep 22, 2012

    Nadav Lapid's "Ha-shoter" opens as a story of an anti-terrorist unit of young policemen in contemporary Israel. They are a gang, a group of men who love each other more than they love anything else. They share everything and their families spend most of their hours off duty together even as the men face danger as a unit at work. The interaction between the policemen is in ways endearing, but it's also revealed to have sinister dimensions. They have recently screwed up. An operation cost the lives of two civilians. The blame is decided to put on a member of the team undergoing cancer treatments; they can't blame a dying hero, the gang rationalizes. Before the midpoint of the film Lapid changes the scene. We are thrown into a story about extreme left-wing radicals, a group of young Israeli from privileged families who hate their upbringing and are ready to take up arms. Their goals are unfocused but their anger is potent. Israel is one of the most unequal countries in the modern world and the group is determined to change this by destroying what is there. "It's time for the poor to get rich and the rich to start dying" they write in a pompous statement meant to be read during an attack. In the end the stories of the policemen and the terrorists become one. Expectedly but powerfully. It would be relatively easy to see "Ha-shoter" as a tale of heroic policemen who in their unified loyalty confront a gang of terrorists utilizing ridiculous reasoning and methodology. But no. The terrorists are too deeply explored as characters, their psychology and weakness exposed. Also, too many analogies are drawn between the two gangs. They both validate their group loyalty through violence, be that sanctified by the state or not. The policemen want to kill as many Arabs as they can, the terrorists want to kill as many rich people as they can. The policemen are firm supporters of conservative family values but they cheat on their pregnant wives and harass young women. The terrorists are preaching in their statements about the way liberal values and sexual freedom have destroyed the moral fiber of Israeli society, but they secretly hunt for one night stands in night clubs. The interaction of the policemen, venturing beyond the homosocial into the homoerotic, is mirrored in the interaction between the male members of the terrorist group. And every character on both sides seems to have a gun fetish on top of their general fetish for violence. "Ha-shoter" doesn't treat us with easy answers and helpfully clear moral setups. It refrains from taking noble stands and concentrates on the nature of violence, how it tempts and seduces, how ideology and a sense of duty are mere servants to a primal urge to tear things down.

    Nadav Lapid's "Ha-shoter" opens as a story of an anti-terrorist unit of young policemen in contemporary Israel. They are a gang, a group of men who love each other more than they love anything else. They share everything and their families spend most of their hours off duty together even as the men face danger as a unit at work. The interaction between the policemen is in ways endearing, but it's also revealed to have sinister dimensions. They have recently screwed up. An operation cost the lives of two civilians. The blame is decided to put on a member of the team undergoing cancer treatments; they can't blame a dying hero, the gang rationalizes. Before the midpoint of the film Lapid changes the scene. We are thrown into a story about extreme left-wing radicals, a group of young Israeli from privileged families who hate their upbringing and are ready to take up arms. Their goals are unfocused but their anger is potent. Israel is one of the most unequal countries in the modern world and the group is determined to change this by destroying what is there. "It's time for the poor to get rich and the rich to start dying" they write in a pompous statement meant to be read during an attack. In the end the stories of the policemen and the terrorists become one. Expectedly but powerfully. It would be relatively easy to see "Ha-shoter" as a tale of heroic policemen who in their unified loyalty confront a gang of terrorists utilizing ridiculous reasoning and methodology. But no. The terrorists are too deeply explored as characters, their psychology and weakness exposed. Also, too many analogies are drawn between the two gangs. They both validate their group loyalty through violence, be that sanctified by the state or not. The policemen want to kill as many Arabs as they can, the terrorists want to kill as many rich people as they can. The policemen are firm supporters of conservative family values but they cheat on their pregnant wives and harass young women. The terrorists are preaching in their statements about the way liberal values and sexual freedom have destroyed the moral fiber of Israeli society, but they secretly hunt for one night stands in night clubs. The interaction of the policemen, venturing beyond the homosocial into the homoerotic, is mirrored in the interaction between the male members of the terrorist group. And every character on both sides seems to have a gun fetish on top of their general fetish for violence. "Ha-shoter" doesn't treat us with easy answers and helpfully clear moral setups. It refrains from taking noble stands and concentrates on the nature of violence, how it tempts and seduces, how ideology and a sense of duty are mere servants to a primal urge to tear things down.

  • May 01, 2012

    At first, I was prepared to call this film a slow-burner, however thereâ(TM)s something more unique going on here. The story lines introduced throughout the beginning of the film do not ultimately grow and resolve, nor do they eventually tie together. Rather, they simply lead no where, and the audience is left to wonder why we were shown them at all, a question that I donâ(TM)t have a clear answer to. On one level, it functions as a statement to show that these characters indeed have lives, loves, challenges and struggles, even if they do not directly relate to the plot. On another level, the director may simply be looking to fill out the character study, showing us what is going on under the surface of these outwardly vocal and militant characters, on both sides of the law. Aside from this, the acting in the film was universally superb. The characters we meet are incredibly multifaceted and nuanced, and these actors met that challenge admirably. The characters are not on the whole very likable or sympathetic, but they are incredibly compelling, due in large part to the acting. The writing and directing were equally effective and even-handed. Undoubtedly, this film had a lot to say about Israeli society, and in particular Israeli law enforcement, youth culture, activism, and terrorism, all topics that I am decidedly ill-equipped to comment on. Although aspects of this brooding film elude me, it was certainly thrilling to watch, and left me with a lot to think about. Read the full review here: http://mattreviewsstuff.com/2012/04/30/policeman/

    At first, I was prepared to call this film a slow-burner, however thereâ(TM)s something more unique going on here. The story lines introduced throughout the beginning of the film do not ultimately grow and resolve, nor do they eventually tie together. Rather, they simply lead no where, and the audience is left to wonder why we were shown them at all, a question that I donâ(TM)t have a clear answer to. On one level, it functions as a statement to show that these characters indeed have lives, loves, challenges and struggles, even if they do not directly relate to the plot. On another level, the director may simply be looking to fill out the character study, showing us what is going on under the surface of these outwardly vocal and militant characters, on both sides of the law. Aside from this, the acting in the film was universally superb. The characters we meet are incredibly multifaceted and nuanced, and these actors met that challenge admirably. The characters are not on the whole very likable or sympathetic, but they are incredibly compelling, due in large part to the acting. The writing and directing were equally effective and even-handed. Undoubtedly, this film had a lot to say about Israeli society, and in particular Israeli law enforcement, youth culture, activism, and terrorism, all topics that I am decidedly ill-equipped to comment on. Although aspects of this brooding film elude me, it was certainly thrilling to watch, and left me with a lot to think about. Read the full review here: http://mattreviewsstuff.com/2012/04/30/policeman/

  • Apr 22, 2012

    Trivial, & fragmented.

    Trivial, & fragmented.