Yossi & Jagger

"Good"

Yossi & Jagger Review


Clocking in at just 61 minutes (not counting the credits), Yossi & Jagger is a short story of a movie. In fact, if you remember your college literature class, you may detect just a touch of Herman Melville's Billy Budd in this brief but moving story of a handsome and magnetic young soldier disrupting the daily grind of his tightly knit troop.

The routine is boring but exhausting at an Israeli army outpost atop a snowy mountain along the Lebanese border. The dozen or so soldiers in the dilapidated camp do little more then go out on practice ambushes and dig trenches. There's plenty of time left over for joking with the cook, dancing in the barracks with the beautiful young women who also serve, and letting petty jealousies simmer.

Jagger (Yehuda Levi) has earned that nickname for being "like a rock star." Everyone likes him, and he likes everyone, but there's only one person he loves: Yossi (Ohad Knoller). That's a problem because even though Yossi loves Jagger, too (as an erotic romp in the snow establishes early on), he's Jagger's superior and isn't willing to be even the least bit demonstrative in public. His motto: Don't ask, don't tell, and most definitely don't lock lips in the machine gun bunker when other soldiers are nearby.

But Yossi's not the only one with a crush on the popular Jagger. The beautiful Yaeli (Aya Steinovitz) is smitten as well and won't be discouraged, even when other soldiers tell her "he's probably not your type." Ofir (Assi Cohen), in turn, has a crush on Yaeli and becomes furious when Jagger distracts her from his clumsy advances. Jagger just goes with the flow, getting angry only when Yossi refuses profess his love and promise a future together. All he really wants, he says, is to check into a hotel with Yossi and ask for one bed, not two that they push together in private. But Yossi won't warm up. "This isn't some fucking American movie!" he snaps. That's for sure.

It's a rare complaint that a movie is too short, but Yossi & Jagger feels rushed and could have used some thoughtful pauses. The setting is unique, the characters are rich, and there's not a single annoying cliché to be found. (It's not an American movie!) The emotional fallout from Yossi and Jagger's relationship, powerful though it is, would have packed an even more potent punch had the intricacies of their relationship, as well as their relationships with the soldiers around them, been allowed to play out at a more leisurely pace.

What's the Israeli army's attitude toward homosexuality, anyway? The guys indulge in all the usual fag jokes, but no one seems to mind that Jagger may be a little light in his combat boots, and he seems perfectly happy to do his time in the military, especially if he and Yossi can steal away for walks in the woods. Yossi & Jagger says a lot and is well worth an hour of your time, but you'll walk away thinking it could have said more.

Note: The DVD includes a music video of the movie's romantic theme song. Watch the handsome singer stroll past gun turrets and barbed wire as he croons. It's an interesting coda that could only come from the Middle East.

And don't eat yellow snow.



Yossi & Jagger

Facts and Figures

Run time: 65 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 1st August 2002

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Fresh: 37 Rotten: 5

IMDB: 7.3 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Starring: as Yossi, as Lior Amichai 'Jagger', Asi Cohen as Ophir, as Yaeli


Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

45 Years Movie Review

45 Years Movie Review

Like an antidote to vacuous blockbusters, this intelligent, thoughtful drama packs more intensity into a...

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

Straight Outta Compton Movie Review

This biopic gallops through the career of groundbreaking gangsta rappers N.W.A, working its way through...

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

We Are Your Friends Movie Review

Basically the perfect summer movie, this lightweight drama has a great-looking cast and plenty of...

Sinister 2 Movie Review

Sinister 2 Movie Review

As the ghoul from the 2012 horror hit stalks a new family, this sequel's sharply...

Advertisement
Paper Towns Movie Review

Paper Towns Movie Review

After setting the scene with vivid characters and some insightful interaction, the plot of this...

Vacation Movie Review

Vacation Movie Review

Both the characters and the tone have been updated as a new generation of Grizwolds...

Trainwreck Movie Review

Trainwreck Movie Review

Amy Schumer makes her big screen debut with a script that feels like a much-extended...

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Movie Review

Adopting a deliciously groovy vibe, Guy Ritchie turns the iconic 1960s TV spy series into...

Advertisement