Yossi (15)

Film image

The ViewLondon Review

StarStarStarNo StarNo Star
Review byJennifer Tate28/11/2012

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 84 mins

A tender Israeli drama with a gorgeous soundtrack and a truly sympathetic character at its heart, Yossi is moving in parts but is noticeably lacking in romantic chemistry and its slow burning quality won’t be for everyone.

What’s it all about?
Directed by Eytan Fox, Yossi is the sequel to Fox’s 2002 film, Yossi & Jagger, and revisits Yossi (reprised by Ohad Knoller) as a gay, workaholic cardiologist living alone and working in Tel Aviv, Israel. When a blast from his past comes to him as a patient, Yossi’s world is instantly shaken up, forcing him to address his issues surrounding his former lover Jagger (who tragically died at the end of the first film) and recognise the sad and lonely existence that he’s become used to.

Desperate to break free for a while, Yossi leaves Tel Aviv and travels to the southern city of Eilat, where he meets a group of Israeli IDF officers, who inspire him to change his ways.

The Good
From the opening scene to the closing credits, it’s terrifically easy to sympathise with Yossi (played expertly and effortlessly by Ohad Knoller) as a character who is a sad and lonely, but thankfully not self-pitying and entirely pathetic, thirty-something loner. Sweet, vulnerable and sensitive, his daily routine consists of working overtime and returning home to his empty flat at ungodly hours to watch gay porn, chat to cruel but attractive homosexuals on chat rooms and munch on takeaway noodles. These scenes (along with a particularly rough moment where Yossi is begrudgingly dragged into a threesome in a sleazy club bathroom) are uncomfortable to watch and you instantly feel for the sad protagonist and practically plead for a fairytale ending.

Despite being a sequel, Yossi also stands almost completely independent as a film and so newcomers will be pleased to know that watching Yossi & Jagger prior to this is not entirely essential (although it is recommended). The script is strong but understated and the soundtrack is truly gorgeous, blending sweet folk with Israeli anthems to spur on scenes and keep viewers engaged.

The Bad
The only real problem with Yossi is that its blossoming romance between Tom (Oz Zehavi), the young, confident and openly gay IDF officer, and its leading man is not entirely believable and noticeably lacks some vital chemistry. However, as this romance is so briefly on screen in the bigger picture and Knoller’s so strong in his stand-alone scenes, this flaw is not as bothering as it could have been.

Worth seeing?
Yossi takes a little while to heat up, but the overall result is genuinely pleasing. Admittedly, it’s not a film for everyone’s taste buds, but it’s a must-see for fans of Yossi & Jagger. Recommended.

Film Trailer

Yossi (15)
Be the first to review Yossi...
image
01 The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies (tbc)

Lee Pace, Benedict Cumberbatch, Evangeline Lilly, ...

image
02 The Theory of Everything (tbc)

Felicity Jones, Eddie Redmayne, Emily Watson

image
03 Pride (15)

Bill Nighy, Andrew Scott, Dominic West, Imelda Sta...

image
04 What We Did on Our Holidays (12A)

David Tennant, Billy Connolly, Rosamund Pike, Anne...

image
05 The Guest (15)

Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Ethan Embry

Content updated: 30/08/2014 03:26

Latest Film Reviews

Film of the Week

Night Moves Film Review

Engaging and provocative, this is a fiercely introspective thriller from writer-director Kelly Reichardt, starring Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning.

UK Box Office Top 5 Films

Hot Tickets

Film 4 Summer ScreenFilm 4 Summer Screen

Taking over the big screen at Somerset House again for August 2014, the Film 4 Summer Screen series brings a variety of classics and brand new films to audiences in the capital.