Yossi & Jagger

"Very 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

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

Swallows and Amazons Movie Review

After a number of films, TV series and stage adaptations, Arthur Ransome's beloved 1930 novel...

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

David Brent: Life on the Road Movie Review

The original BBC sitcom The Office ran for 14 episodes from 2001 to 2003, and...

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

The Childhood of a Leader Movie Review

Bold and intelligent, this dark drama is a challenging portrait of the making of an...

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

Pete's Dragon Movie Review

This hugely enjoyable adventure is a loose remake of the 1977 Disney hit that blended...

The Shallows Movie Review

The Shallows Movie Review

With a simple premise and plenty of visual style, Spanish filmmaker Jaume Collet-Serra (Unknown) takes...

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Movie Review

Watching this gross-out comedy, it's clear that the gifted cast and crew had a great...

Nerve Movie Review

Nerve Movie Review

With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone...

Advertisement
The Carer Movie Review

The Carer Movie Review

Brian Cox gets the role of a lifetime in this warm comedy about living life...

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Born to Be Blue Movie Review

Writer-director Robert Budreau takes a stylised approach to this biopic of the legendary jazz artist...

Jason Bourne Movie Review

Jason Bourne Movie Review

It's been nine years since Matt Damon and Paul Greengrass collaborated on The Bourne Ultimatum,...

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

The Commune [Kollektivet] Movie Review

Veteran Danish filmmaker Thomas Vinterberg (Festen, The Hunt) returns to a smaller homegrown story after...

The BFG Movie Review

The BFG Movie Review

For his adaptation of the Roald Dahl classic, Steven Spielberg reunited with screenwriter Melissa Mathison,...

Finding Dory Movie Review

Finding Dory Movie Review

It's been 13 years since the release of the Disney/Pixar hit Finding Nemo, and filmmaker...

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

Star Trek Beyond Movie Review

This is where the Star Trek franchise officially shifts from thoughtful drama into thunderous action....

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.