Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Big Bad Wolves (2013)

Big Bad Wolves (2014)
Director: Aharon Keshales, Navot Papushado
Starring: Lior Ashkenazi, Rotem Keinan and Tzahi Grad
Running Time: 110 min

  I love watching movies from around the world, especially when it's a horror or crime thriller from a country you wouldn't expect like Israel. I haven't seen a lot of films from Israel but if Quentin Tarantino says it's "Best Film of the Year",  then it's something that I gotta check out.

The film starts with three kids playing hide & seek around an abandon warehouse.  The boy finds the first girl and when they both go to catch the other girl, she has mysteriously has disappeared and all that is left is her one shoe.
  Then in another abandon warehouse, Micki and a few other police officers drag in a suspect of the kidnapping, a bible school teacher named Dror.  Two of the officers start working Dror over while, Micki's partner tries to convince him that this isn't the way to get the information and it will hurt the case.  Micki doesn't care, grabs a phone book and starts to "interrogate" the suspect.  Unfortunately, they don't know that somebody is video taping this little police procedure to put it on the web. Oi Vey!
  The next day, the missing girl's body shows up in a field without a head.  Micki goes to investigate and sees the father of the girl trying to push his way to see what happens.  Micki asks how he new about this and is told that the police chief and him were old friends.  Back at the station, Micki gets called into the police chiefs' office.  Apparently the "interrogation" video has gone viral and everyone is blaming Micki for the girls' death. Micki gets suspended and is told by his chief, that he is a civilian now and he can't be stopped investigating the case his own way, just he shouldn't get caught. Wink wink nudge nudge.
  Now that he's suspended, he decides that he's going to kidnap Dror and force him to talk but he's not the only one with this plan.  The father of the girl, Gidi quickly buys a new house, out of the way of everything and prepares his own interrogation toys.  Gidi is ex-military and seems to have a collection of tools and techniques that would make anyone spill the beans.  Who will get the truth out of Dror first? Is Dror even guilty and at what length will Micki and Gidi go to learn the truth about this crime?

  I found this film really impressive and was surprised at how writers/directors Aharon Keshales (Kalevet), Navot Papushado (Kalevet) were able to blend this very gritty crime drama with a splash of very dark humour.  When dealing with films about daughters being missing, raped and beheaded there isn't much of room for laughs but somehow they makes it work.  Just to be clear, the humour never involves the actual crime, because that would be in bad taste, but in the way Gidi and Micki go after this "suspected" killer and all the things that could go wrong while kidnapping him and extracting information from him.  For example, when your boss, the chief of police,  brings his son to work and the child is helping him lecture you, or while Micki is hiding waiting to taser Dror and Dror's dog won't stop staring at him about to blow your cover, so Micki tasers the dog or even when your breaking someone's fingers and your mom won't stop calling to see if your feeling alright.  These things are very amusing and really helps temper the darkness of the story and makes it a lot more palatable for the audiences.

 Once we get into the meat of the film, the cast is really shrinks down to the three major players.  Micki, played by Lior Ashkenazi (Footnote, Late Marriage), Gidi, played by Tzahi Grad (Mars Turkey, Off White Lies) and Dror, played by Rotem Keinan (The Exchange, Epilogue) who are brilliant in these role.  I winced at every time Drors' fingers broken broken or toe nails pulled, I could feel and understand the angry and hatred in every line spoken by Gidi and I really felt for Micki, when he realized he was in over his head and maybe Dror wasn't the right person.  These are top notch performances that drive the story into another level.

As for issues with the film, there may be some suspension of belief problems, could Gidi really buy a house that quickly or wouldn't he be a chief suspect him if Dror went missing since Gidis' daughter was the last victim and who is this strange Arabic man riding a horse?  These are all after thoughts and don't really come into play because you're already far to engrossed in the film.

  This is a great film and it has some very dark intense scenes that will make you turn away for a moment but like a bad accident you will want to peak what's going on.  Again the humour really helps to move this film along, so you're not totally bummed out by the end of it.  This is a mesmerizing crime drama that will have you at the edge of your seat, wondering what is going to happen next. 


  1. I loved the film. It had a great sense of humour and knew where to include the thrills to keep us hooked. Great review. This is my first time on your blog. Have bookmarked it.

    Here's my review of the film - http://movieroundup.in/big-bad-wolves-brutally-violent-and-funny/

    1. Thanks, I'll check it out today!