The Believer: 4.0 Stars

The Believer  -  Front DVD CoverToday feels like a Sunday.  It’s actually Monday but it feels like a Sunday because I worked on Saturday.  Tomorrow is Tuesday, but I’ve no idea if it will feel like a Tuesday or more like a Monday.  This film is similarly themed around confusion, except that it’s about a Jew who’s a Neo-Nazi.  Okay, I’ve got a bit of a confession to make now.  I’ve personally harboured a secret expectation for years that I might be a real Jedi Knight, who one day will be called upon to save the human race from some horrible fate.  (I do actually do something very similar to this every day of life as part of my job, but somehow it’s not quite the same thing.)  Sadly, up to now my attempts to influence people with my mind have been a singular failure; in fact I can’t even influence my own thoughts.  I also can’t fight with a light sabre very well.  If anyone remembers Star Wars Kid from a few years ago, you will probably be able to visualise just how well I can’t wield this awesome weapon; if I had one, which I don’t, obviously.  I do however, enjoy waving a torch about when in a dark place as if it’s a light sabre, making ‘that’ light sabre sound.  In fact I suspect I do this nearly every time I have a torch in my hand, probably not to anyone’s amusement except my own.  I suppose I’m lucky that most people in Cactus World are pretty tolerant when it comes to care in the community.

2001  –  Certificate: 15  –  USA

This is a great film. Ryan Gosling makes a first class job of playing Danny, the main character in it, an anti-Semitic skinhead who’s actually Jewish.  It’s all pretty engrossing stuff and the ending is far from clear until you reach that point.  Despite his entirely repellent and ridiculous views (especially regarding Jewish people), the film does a good job of making Danny quite a sympathetic character at times.  It’s often the sign of good writing and acting when an unpleasant character can still make you feel sorry for them.  If the movie has a weakness, it’s probably that Danny seems educated and highly intelligent, yet his actions demonstrate quite a mixed up and confused outlook on life.  It would have been good to have got inside his mind a bit more to find out what was going on in there.  The film’s pivotal scene, where Danny and his gang get sent to ‘tolerance classes’ after a fight in a cafe, is genuinely powerful and heartbreaking stuff, from the point of view of both the stories that get told and the reactions to them.  This movie also has Summer Phoenix in it, who as well as being a very beautiful woman also happens to be a lifelong vegan.  Then again, all vegans are beautiful/handsome, clever, empathic, compassionate, determined, (please insert your 50 favourite human attributes here), etc.  Except me, which is a bit annoying actually.  And finally, I’d just like to remind people of the link between early reggae and skinheads.  Being a skinhead doesn’t make you a raciest, although being a moronic asshole who frequently spouts uninformed and ill-conceived, generalised crap about other cultures, often does; so really, they should be easy enough to tell apart.  Don’t fall into the trap of getting them confused and assuming they’re all the same, or you might just find you’ve become one yourself.

Recommended for people who like good films and topless vegans.  (If anyone wants to see me topless I come pretty cheap!)

No cats and no decapitations.

Top badass moment?  Danny in the scene near the end when he’s speaking to all the people at the fundraising meeting.  Doing the unexpected with style and pissing just about every one off in the process is pretty badass.

The Believer on IMDB

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