The hunt for the elusive artist Harry Kier is as good a reason as any, for a road trip between friends right? The grapevine reports that Kier is about to lay waste to his life's work and finding out why, is an excellent opportunity for these friends to sow their wild oats, minus the sex, before settling into their expected lives. "Ezer Kenegdo" is a showcase of different belief systems, how they factor into the lives of friends and really... a story on life itself. The clash of religious beliefs is a pressure cooker for sure, but this film has a lot more to offer. Us viewers are like flies on a wall as this group of "friends" start, continue, and finally finish their journey. We see the good, the bad, and the ugly as they clash or simply do what friends do... fight and forgive. This was especially touching during a car scene at the end involving food... and pants. No matter your faith, there really is something here to appreciate for almost anyone. Almost. And that's just it. Deniz Dremirer and Daniel Kremer really do ask a lot from it's viewers. There really is a load of content for us to think about. All veiled within what is essentially a buddy movie. Sort of. The questions of faith are in your face. Yet some of the deeper aspects, for me anyhow, were faithless. Universal. This isn't a film you can fully comprehend by just viewing once. I myself, sure don't claim being able to. And it's also not a movie that's easy to watch again. It's very long, and feels even longer due to the dialog heavy presentation. There are issues all right. We'll get into that below but the short version is this. "Ezer Kenegdo" is ambitious in it's content. There really is a lot of good within the script. I'm sure many will get a lot more out of it than I did. As a casual viewer however, there was really a lot to process. One one hand that's a great thing. These deep points of interest are, in fact, quite thought provoking. It's the amount we're expected to consider, mixed with the visual style that was a little tough on the eyes. Was it just me? Quite possibly.
I can understand why this film took a really long time in post production. It's evident when watching. I can imagine the nightmare it must have all been to put together... and I can imagine there was probably a lot of footage. Of course, I don't know that for sure. It's all guesswork. Things just seem that way. You see... "Ezer Kenegdo" has a lot of different styles. A lot of different narrative pacing styles. Sometimes, during the editing phase, you can consolidate and make one seemingly flawless narrative that works. Not the case here. It's all so mish-mashed, I can't even really define what this movie is even going for. The best way to describe it? Home movies. That trip you took with family, or in this case friends, and filmed for posterity. Remember those old VHS movies your parents probably made you watch? Or the Beta-tapes of old vacations? This is what it was like to watch this film. Mostly. Mixed in with all the hand held footage was some really nice, docu-styled shots. Just nowhere near enough. Putting this stuff together and making it cohesive in any way deserves credit. Maybe, if the film were not so long, say... half the length, it would have worked better. As it sits now, "Ezer Kenegdo" is over an hour and a half, mainly consisting of talking... and full of home movie styled video. Saving graces? Aside from having to rely on massive amounts of talking, the concepts are, in fact, interesting. The characters themselves? Actually... pretty believable for the most part. Rob Nilsson, as the artist our characters make their way to see, does a fantastic job. These segments however, are not featured nearly enough. Not only do these segments look great, but Nilsson literally owns the screen. That's no sleight against anyone else, simply an observation. Had the film been shortened, with his scenes in tact, this would have been a totally different film.
But... there really is a lot of other good stuff here as well. It just feels like nobody was quite sure what direction to take it in. This is not a bad film. It's just not a great film. The truth? All the footage should be forwarded to an outside video editor. With instructions to not worry about the run time of the movie. Kremer, who edited himself, simply can't be objective. How could he be after all this time looking at all the films assets? I personally think an outside eye would do wonders for this movie. Then again... what do I know?
In the end, there really is enough good to make this an interesting piece. Maybe not for the impatient, but there are still plenty of movie lovers in the sea. All things considered, one simple fact remains. As much as I bitch and complained about different aspects of the film, I still managed to watch straight through until the end. Believe me when I write... that counts for something. Definitely. I can't count the number of movies I've had to watch over multiple sittings. All in all? An interesting, yet slightly flawed film. Not the best. Far from the worst.