Food, drink, film and other random thoughts from The Lone Star State.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Ukranian Schtick

Last week was a school whipping, this week a root canal, so my life has been boring for two weeks. Feeling numb from the pain killers about all I could muster was pressing the play button on my DVD remote. This one made me laugh out loud. (Apologies to my neighbor, Blair, if I woke her up with my uncontrolled laughter, since I started watching this one at 2am :)

Everything Is Illuminated

I was curious to see Elijah Wood (center) in something other than Lord of The Rings. But really, Elijah, while top bill, is not the center of attention, Ukranian-born, Eugene Hutz (left) owns this film.

I didn't realize Hutz was in this film until the end credits, then I had to go back and look at the last scene to convince myself it was him. Hutz is a musician and singer by trade, lead vocals and lyrics for his gypsy-punk band, Gogol Bordello. I have one of their CD's but failed to recognize him without his trademark wild hair and handlebar mustache. For a film debut, I would say he was strong and will start popping up more frequently.

The film is a comedy with some serious content. Wood plays a young Jewish man, Jonathan, who is actively seeking to uncover the details of his grandfather's life (now deceased). He has a picture of his grandfather with the woman who saved him from the Nazi's while he was in Ukraine. Without hestitation he boards a plane to Ukraine and begins his investigation.

Alex Perchov (Hutz) is his guide and interpreter once he arrives. Alex speaks English but with an obvious Russian accent and a not-so clear understanding of word choice. The comedy starts with Alex, in Norm Crosby form, using almost-correct English which winds up being hysterical.

They are accompanied by Alex's grandfather (right). The grandfather is a hoot; he pretends to be blind but isnt and he has a constant companion, Sammmy Davis Jr. Jr., his "seeing-eye" dog, who has a personality that one could only call comically deranged.

The stories and histories of the characters intertwine and in the end what is clearly illuminated is a testimony to human kindness in the face of unbearable adveristy.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well put. Eugene is amazing in this film.

7:42 PM

Blogger Sangroncito said...

A school whipping...sounds exciting!

11:17 AM

Blogger Jim said...

Definitely anon, I hope to see more of him too.

10:33 AM

Blogger Jim said...

LOL, Sangroncito, you always make me smile :)

10:38 AM

Blogger steve'swhirlyworld said...

Thanks for the review. I've been picking this movie up and putting it back on the shelf for a month now. I'll check it out next time.

I was in Dallas/Oaklawn for 15 years prior to moving Phoenix about a year and a half ago.

I enjoyed reading your blog.


4:46 PM

Blogger Jim said...

Enjoy Steve and thanks for reading :)

8:29 PM


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