Signed up the 28/03/2017
Disobedience quietly traces the lines of a forbidden love shared between two women daring to explore their overwhelming passion for one another, all in the eye of a highly religious community.
Ronit (Katherine Weisz) is the daughter of a rabbi who has just passed on. She exiled herself from her small town when she was just a teen. This was upon her highly-regarded father having caught her doing "ungodly" things (having sex) with her childhood friend (played by Rachel McAdams—Regina George from Mean Girls). She hasn't been to the town since, until now after getting a call announcing her father's passing.
When she goes back home from the city, she finds that her childhood sweetheart has been married off to her cousin; whom offers Ronit to stay over at his and his wife's home for the week in mourning of Ronit's father with the church—a community that welcomes Ronit with side-eyes and whispers.
It's not very often that a silently searing film like this, choosing to go in the daring direction it does, it lingers on you days after watching. Most writers/directors seem to get carried away with wanting to make this sort of film so chillingly sad that they tend to overwhelm it with emotion, that begins to feel a little forced. Disobidience manages to succumb such folly, managing to hit right where it needs to, when it needs to.
It's such a delight to watch the two lead-actresses at work. It's as though they're not even on set merely to bring to life a love imagined by a writer. I found myself pausing to ask myself, "how the hell is it possible to spark up such believable chemistry and yearning without having had experience with one another before, beyond the set?" While I was not able to answer this, one thing became apparent to me. These two actresses are of true talent, and it goes without saying that they deserve to be more visible in the industry. These performances are real Oscar worthy stuff.
Struggling with sexuality internally, and having to also deal with family, friends and even strangers who judge and persecute you for daring to commit such deviancy is truly a heartwrenching experience. To live most of your life feeling like you'll never belong. Like you're a thorn on an otherwise precious and perfect world. To have to fight through all of it to get a portion of the dignity and love that you wholly deserve in the first place. It is lonely. And Oscar-winning (for last year's A Fantastic Woman) writer-director Sebastián Lelio handled this fragile subject with such delicacy and capability.
I keep wondering why such a film didn't get as much buzz as it deserved upon its release—it was provably drowned out by the frenzy over Infinity War as they came out the same weekend. But I'm glad I stumbled across it, and I'm even more excited to share it with one of you out there so that you might experience the same kind of self-actualising trip I have gone through watching this film.
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