The animosity between
Israelis and Palestinians is so deep-seeded that it could never be
adequately explored in an hour-and-a-half.
The indie drama Homeland does a nice job of trying.
If eventually it ends up slightly wallowing in melodrama, well that may have
something to do with the vast complexity of the subject matter – and then
adding the additional complication of a love relationship.
Essentially Homeland is a Romeo & Juliet story in which the
Capulets are Palestinian and the Montagues are Israeli – and it is set in
modern Brooklyn rather than Verona.
Neither side comes out looking totally at fault, nor do
either come out taking all of the blame (though, on the whole, the Israelis
probably come out looking a tiny bit better - mostly because there are fewer
of them to misbehave).
Kobi (Max Rhyser) is an Israeli who
decides to move to the United States after finishing his mandatory military
stint. He moves in with his older cousin, who has become sort of a Don
Juan in his own mind and manages a Brooklyn ice cream parlor. The
cousin also gives Kobi a job cleaning up the shop and serving customers.
day he meets eyes with a gorgeous customer named Leila. They start to
flirt and before you know it they are in love. Then their backgrounds
is part of a first-generation Palestinian family. Her mother and
father are somewhat traditional, but they also embrace the American way of
life. However, her brother has been in and out of trouble for years,
now he has become involved in a mosque which has cured his criminal
tendencies, but made him slightly fanatical about his Muslim beliefs.
and Leila try to hide their relationship from those around them - but of
course that never really works.
The movie actually is an interesting contradiction. Sometimes it looks like
a very expensive production with great production values, other times it
looks extremely low budget. For example, the ice cream parlor in which much
of the action transpires is quite obviously a not-overly-realistic set, yet
many of the other Brooklyn settings look and feel very real. The direction
and camera work is wonderfully fluid during conversations and dramatic
confrontations, yet in the rare occasions that action like fights or even
running occurs the film becomes jumpy and disjointed.
end, the story has been told before, but it is told here with enthusiasm and
conviction. You can't exactly call Homeland a very good film,
but it is a passionate one.
Jay S. Jacobs
Copyright ©2010 PopEntertainment.com.
All rights reserved. Posted: June 11, 2010.