The acting and direction are fine… but the film just didn’t quite work for me.

by Martin Hafer

The Kind Words is a rather frustrating film to watch. The direction and acting of this Israeli picture are really good and there is a lot to like about the movie…but the story itself left me a bit cold…especially at the end.

When the story begins, Osnat (Magi Azarzar) has broken up with her husband after yet another miscarriage. She’s obviously depressed but instead of looking to her nice husband for support, she’s pushing him out of her life. She’ll soon need this support, as Osnat’s mother is quite ill and soon dies. Osnat also will not allow herself to rely on her father, as he left the mother years before for another woman. So her only support through this are her brothers, Natanel (Roy Assaf) and Shai (Assaf Ben-Shimon)….and the three are really going to have to pull together now as not only has their mother died but they learn that their father is not their biological father! It seems that Mom had quite a few secrets…and not surprisingly the three have a strong need to know who their biological father really is as well as their mother’s hidden life. I really don’t want to give away any more of the plot, as it might spoil the many secrets in the film.

The Kind Words
Directed by
Shemi Zarhin
Rotem Zissman-Cohen, Roy Assaf, Magi Azarzar
Release Date
24 June 2016
Martin’s Grade: B-

So why didn’t I love this film? After all, it was often an interesting film and really had some nice acting, music…plus the movie looked great. Well, the film had a few fundamental problems. One of the big ones for me is that I never really liked or cared for any of the characters and in many ways they seemed more like caricatures as opposed to real, fully realized people. Osnat was the angry and depressed person who had a hard time letting anyone like her (thus, making it hard for the audience to like her as well), Natanel was the ultra-religious guy and Shai was the gay brother. But none of them seemed to have a lot more to their personalities than that. More problematic is that the film is perhaps too realistic. In real life, we often never really have closure or all of our questions answered….but in a film we expect that. Yet, inexplicably, when all is said and done, the film never really does provide this closure and I am sure many audience members will feel a sense of disappointment because of this. Not a bad film but one that left me wishing for a bit more.