This film gives gay cinema a bad name and is frankly an embarrassment
to the genre. Every indignity one could bestow on a film is featured
here: bad dialogue, poor characterization, pointless story line, women
as mere props who do little to advance the story line and marginal
acting are but just a few of the cinematic sins committed.
Director Eytan Fox, whose normal terrain is music videos,
proves himself unworthy of the responsibilities that come with a feature-length
film, frittering away the potential of “based on a true story”—the
exploration of two gay soldiers serving their tour of duty in the
Israeli army. Set somewhere on the arctic-like Israel-Lebanon border
in the not-so-distant past, we are introduced to an assortment of
jarheads including gay officers Yossi and Jagger. It’s never
made explicitly clear just where the Israeli army stands on gays in
the military, but we’re led to believe it’s a bit more
extreme than the Clintonian decree of “Don’t ask, don’t
tell.” So theirs is a forbidden love and Yossi and Jagger must
resort to sneaking off to consummate their love whenever they can,
which in this case means unzipping their coats and frolicking in snowdrifts
when they should be out on patrol.
There’s a weak side plot intended as a complication to this
secret relationship—the arrival of two female soldiers, one
of whom is unaware of Jagger’s sexual preferences and secretly
pines for him, hoping to ask him out on a date. Otherwise the Israeli
army, as portrayed here, is shockingly bereft of discipline, as the
soldiers fraternize, fuck, and have mini-raves in the barracks. Supposedly
this is necessary to diffuse the tension of army life and naturally
there are accompanying conversations about death. The film limps along
until the predictable climax involving a midnight maneuver in a “hot”
sector along the border where the soldiers face obvious peril and
their mundane premonitions of death become fact. The only problem
with such predictability is it doesn’t come soon enough. Long
before the climactic ending you’ll be rooting for the unseen
enemy to overrun base camp and put us all out of our misery.
Take a pal and pay full price for both tickets.
Itís worth a full-price ticket.
Itís worth a matinee ticket.
Wait for video rental.
Check out the video from the library, if you must.
While we would never encourage anyone to destroy a video...