I still don't know...
Siobhan | Planet Land | 03/17/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Does Shalom represent Hello or Goodbye? Neither. It means peace in a comprehensive way. You might feel peaceful while watching this movie, but it will likely be due to the fact that you are sleeping. Well, maybe you won't sleep. Maybe you'll just be annoyed at the 'artistic' implementation of abrupt audio cuts. I don't know you, so...
This is an independent film. It is nicely packaged, but the film is a low-quality grain. The acting is solid. The story is a slow paced, natural narrative, which can either be charming or grate the nerves. Cinematography is not too bad. In fact, some shots are inspired.
Mme Gaash's behavior is a bit confusing, but that's a part of the tale, so I won't go into that. It is in the script and whatever Ardant is forced to do, she does with dignity. Nice. Depardieu reminds me why I diet. I forgot how chubby he was and I guess it wasn't too long ago. Good job on the weight loss, Gerard! Mozel Tov! He gives a reliable performance in this role--believably this M. Gaash.
Although the direction was strong enough to support these wonderful actors, I'm not sure the script allows us to care. It's a storyline we already know: 1. Go to Israel. 2. Have various problems. 3. Adore Israel. 4. Hate the struggle. 5. Leave or don't leave... It's so common.
I don't know. I wouldn't recommend against this film. If you like truly, traditionally independent, you won't be disappointed. If you like Ardant, Depardieu, or Jean Benguigui, they are faithful and professional-- even committed.
Although, M. Gaash has a belated bris, the film doesn't really explore religious issues. It doesn't really explore anything. Think of it as basic voyeurism. It's people watching through a dirty window.
Yeah, that's it. People watching. I'd watch it again."