I had no idea what this movie was about before watching it in class. I was extremely tired and in a terrible mood from spending 10 hours in the library and was pleasantly surprised to catch myself laughing throughout this film. I assumed that this film would just have a serious tone, but it caught my attention because of the comedy throughout the movie.
I think that the comedy in this film is very affective at getting the viewer’s attention. I think it is a film with a serious theme, but appeals to our age group because of the brilliant use of humor. There were many parts in the film when everyone couldn’t help but to laugh. I think if the film had no humor than the audience reach would significantly decrease, because people always want to laugh but need to be in the right state of mind to watch a sad and serious movie. “Seeing eye bitch” was just priceless…
Alex and Jonathan were both great characters, opposites, yet so alike in many ways; two adolescent males trying to find their place in the world. When watching both characters you can’t help but to be entertained, Alex in his track suit, gold chains and rap music and Jonathan with his awkward demeanor, oversized glasses and obsession with collecting things in plastic bags.
I also loved the grandfather, because from the start you could tell that something was going on with him. The look in his eyes and his unusual compassion for Jonathan foreshadowed some secret. I guessed his secret was going to be that he was a guard at the camp and was responsible for killing Jonathan’s ancestors, but I was surprised when we found out that he was Jewish because he seemed to poke fun at Jewish people…I guess he didn’t want to associate with being Jewish after almost being killed because of it, makes sense. He seemed like a hard ass at first and then softened up for the audience to really enjoy his character. I think his character was the most touching because of the way he isolated himself from the past.
Although it may not be obvious, each character in the film has to deal with some kind of pain. Jonathan’s pain is in not knowing his past history and being obsessed with not forgetting experiences throughout his life. Alex seems confused, doesn’t seem to get along with his family, and finds out his family history is very different than he has known throughout his life. The grandfather has the most obvious pain, living with a secret that eats away at him.
I think the ending was interesting when the grandfather has passed. Alex says that this was the first time that he has seen his grandfather at peace. I think this is very important because even when he talked to the old woman from Trachimbrod, his character still seemed agitated (one would think he would feel a sense of relief). The grandfather’s traumatic past and living with his secret has taken a toll and his pain was gone as he lay at rest in peace.