By Mark Saldana
Rating: 4 (Out of 4 Stars)
Israeli director Guilhad Emilio Schenker makes his feature film debut with this sweet and lovable tale with a bit of a dark side. Considering that this film was included in the Fantastic Fest programming, I expected it to be much more gruesome and disturbing. However, this movie actually surprised me with its genuinely heart-warming romance and the beautiful chemistry between its lead actors, Keren Mor and Yuftach Klein. Despite the toned down violence and use of restraint when it comes to anything outlandish or over-the-top, this lovely film turned out to be one of my favorites of the festival.
Keren Mor stars as Sophie, a slightly older member of Madam Yankelova’s Fine Literature Club, a group of women who aren’t really a book club at all, but a group of man-hating women who eschew any kind of romantic love in their lives. They lure men as dates to their meetings for the sake of slaughtering them for human consumption. As Sophie has aged, the quality of her men has declined. The leaders of the club extend to her a stern warning that she must rise above this slump or fall into the lower ranks of household servants. When she encounters an attractive potential catch (Yuftach Klein), with whom she becomes smitten, Sophie must decide if rising to the top ranks of the literature club is what she really wants.
Much as the Sophie character becomes smitten with her leading man, I fell head over heels in love with this movie. Though the premise does sound rather gruesome, the nasty details of the violence in the story are not all presented on the screen. At its core this movie is a romantic thriller with a big heart. I fell in love with the pained and conflicted Sophie character, a woman with an obviously dark past, spurned by heartbreak and disappointment. And even though this movie does take the pain to more violent extremes, it is a real cry for the love and romance that everyone truly craves.