Thursday, June 24, 2010

Jakob The Liar (1999)

Stars : Robbin Williams , Liev Schreiber, Alan Arkin.

Director :Peter Kassovitz.

There have been numerous movies about the Holocaust and each one had a tale to tell, each one touched the heart. I got the opportunity to see another one yesterday and as others this one also had a story to tell , though fictional .

Jakob a shop owner is brought in front of the officer for violating the curfew in the ghettos, the movie is set in 1944. Jakob overhears a office radio broadcast about the advancement of Russian troops in the battle and leaks this news to one of his friends, telling him that he heard this on radio. The news slowly spreads that Jakob has a radio and suddenly the life in ghettos starts to change. The hope brought along by his news brings the smiles back on the face of people, there is a hope of survival and as a result the number of suicide reduces in the ghettos. Jakob starts building up stories on seeing what his little story has done to their lives. Jakob also has a secret, he hides a little Jewish girl who had escaped from one of the trains going to the camps. Jakob has no family except this little girl, whom he loves so much and wants to protect at any cost .The Germans get a tip off that someone is hiding a radio in ghettos and the start looking for it.They take hostages and ask the man with radio to surrender else they will kill the hostages. Jakob gives himself to the Germans but never tells the people the real truth.

Robbin Williams is known as one of the best comic artists in Hollywood, but whenever he is given an opportunity to play a character with varied colors of emotions he still stands out in those roles. Here also he does what he does best , he is splendid as Jakob keeping the emotions always tucked under that smile of his. He is brilliant as the hope spreading Jakob and worried guardian of little girl who stays with him. The Supporting cast is brilliant too , Liev Schreiber as Mischa and specially Bob Balaban as Jakob's closest friend in the ghettos.

The movie is full of moments that may leave a lump in the throat as in all the movies about the holocaust. The movie is an adaptation from a novel by Jurek Becker titled "Jakob der L├╝gner(1969)". I haven't read the book so I don't know how much the movie actually adheres to it. I liked the story of the movie a lot and was forced to wonder, if actually there was Jakob. What a remarkable man he must have been. The brilliance of Robbin Williams, Bob Balaban and the power of hope shown in the movie is what makes it so good. I loved it and was just amazed by the way the movie ended.

Plus : Story , Robbin Williams , Bob Balaban.

Minus : May be the direction, lighting and the sound.

Rating : 8/10


Curtis said...

Did anyone notice that this movie is actually either an existential or judiestic look at the Cristian Gospel. Think about it. Jacob represents Jesus (dies without a speech to give others hope after he tells them the good news that only he can hear); Misha represents the desciples (heard, believed and told others and takes care of the Mary figure in the end). His girlfrieds dad represents the Jews, Germans are the Romans, and the doctor represents John the Baptist who others came to for healiong but in the end he knoew they needed hope so he annointed Jacob. I could go on. But the point is the movie shows the good news to be comforting for a time to those in need, but a lie none the less. -Curtis

Aditya said...

Wow, man thanks a lot for giving me a new perspective n I will watch it again. Thanks for providing such a beautiful insight.