Ready or Not
Forgot your password?
Don't have an account? Sign up here
Got more questions about news letters?
Already have an account? Log in here
and the Terms and Policies,
and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes and Fandango.
Please enter your email address and we will email you a new password.
We encourage our community to report abusive content and/ or spam. Our team will review flagged items and determine whether or not they meet our community guidelines.
Please choose best explanation for why you are flagging this review.
Thank you for your submission. This post has been submitted for our review.
Sincerely, The Rotten Tomatoes Team
Inspiring story across the religious and political divide of the Middle East. It's certainly the best thing to Stephen Dorff's name.
It's possible for one decision to derail a movie completely, one choice by someone involved in a film that just is inherently wrong. These decisions could be something small like a musical score, costume design, cinematographer or in Eran Riklis's 2012 film Zaytoun something big like a miscast actor in the form of the seriously un-Israeli Yoni Stephen Dorff.
In a story that totally hinges on the believability and likability of its two leads, Zaytoun fails miserably. Concerning the young Palestinian boy Fahed who we are asked to root for and journey along with, actor Abdallah El Akal does a horrible job with his boy acting not the right side of enduring or not the comical side of rebel. It's a difficult feat to have a child actor take lead in a film and make it work and Riklis can't achieve the feat here. With Fahed such an unlikeable and uninteresting glue to the film all hope is rested onto Hollywood B list extraordinaire Stephen Dorff to move the picture forward but in a horrible misjudgement of casting he is doomed before a single frame was even shot with the plausibility of him pulling off being an Israeli so impossible that it's hard to even fathom why a born and breed Israeli could not of done the job and done it better. It's not that Dorff is bad perse in his acting just non-believable in his role.
With the failings of the films leads other elements of the film do not help its causes with a story that sadly can't shake the dust of mediocrity and a sense of disbelief while Riklis as a director can't add much to proceedings other than a nice opening shot and some small bursts of directional creativity. With a script overhaul, a smarter sense of direction and better cast actors you do get the sense that somewhere inside this supposed adventure/life affirming tale is a good film.
I would be confident in saying that not many have heard of this film and it's not hard to see why. With painfully few things within Zaytoun worth recommending and with a cliché story it's easy to see why this one sunk like a stone even with some advanced hype that suggested awards and box office glory. A miss-step for all involved.
1 very far from Israeli actors out of 5
For more movie reviews and opinions check out -
It was a good story... just not realistic...
"Zaytoun" es un drama sobre la relacion de un piloto israeli y un nino de Beirut que empiezan una relacion cordial mas alla de las diferencias politicas y de roles. El problema de la cinta es que el director utiliza un formato mas parecido a la comedia romantica que al drama con tintes fraternales que se supone debe ser, creando una relacion extrana entre los personajes. Stephen Dorff esta muy mal dirigido, ademas de que lo suyo son los papeles que incluyan un episodio psicotico que cambie su actitud hacia el mal, y aqui es todo lo contrario, con lo cual sale de su zona de confort sin buenos resultados. (Texto intencionalmente sin acentos).
The movie while bland at times, has that special something to keep you glued from beginning to end.
One can never have enough reminders: people who are taught to hate each other can find common ground when see each other as people. Director Eran Riklis uses this theme often, and while it comes across as contrived in places in "Zaytoun", it still proves a powerful message.
good hindy indy movie
Good foreign film showing how communication and compromise can solve conflicts more than war. Takes place in the 1980s and the plot centers on an Israeli soldier and a Palestinian boy as the soldier tries to find his way out of enemy territory and the boy tries to get past the Israeli border to see his family's former home. Stephen Dorff and his counterpart deliver a believable story of the power of friendship and how it can overcome the biggest obstacles.
Some reviewers considered this unrealistically hopeful and sentimental, but I found it to be a compelling portrayal of how hatred can give way to friendship, given a chance. Nor did it give us a happily-ever-after ending. Just a glimmer of hope in an otherwise tragic, never-ending conflict. Dorff was convincing as the Israeli pilot (although it's a fair question as to why they didn't use an Israeli actor for this part), and the young actor who plays Fahed was outstanding.
Dorff, swung for the fences with this film to get up to A list status, and if he didn't hit it out of the park, he hit a double.