Movie Date: Indignation (NC16)
Girls might not mind the movie but guys may feel the indignation if they have to sit through it.
STARRING: Logan Lerman, Sarah Gadon, Tracy Letts, Linda Emond
DIRECTOR: James Schamus
THE SKINNY: Adapted from a novel by Philip Roth, the 1950s-set story revolves around Jewish boy Marcus (Lerman) who enrols in a liberal arts college to avoid getting conscripted for the Korean War. Apart from struggling to fit into the university culture, he also has to deal with falling for the sexually-forward Olivia (Gadon). It doesn’t help that his views clash with the school’s dean (Letts).
MARS - JASON JOHNSON
I've heard that bad books make for good movies.
To me, this rings true.
Then again, I don't read many good books, so I can't be 100 per cent sure.
Movies and books are kind of opposites - qualities that make one interesting can make the other insufferable.
Based on an apparently excellent novel by Philip Roth, it aims for high seriousness but ends up a snoozefest.
I don't think I've ever seen a film so inert.
It's like it's composed of static images rather than moving pictures. The actors are like mannequins.
And everything is brown - my biggest cinematic pet peeve.
In one scene, Lerman has a sexual encounter with Gadon in a car.
For a virgin, it should have been a mind-blowing, life-altering experience, but you don't get that sense from Indignation. It's like he got a peck on the forehead from his mum. There is zero passion or emotion.
Later, Lerman fights with his roommate and gets knocked to the floor by the most fake-looking punch in movie history. You can tell the guy's fist came nowhere near Lerman's face.
The great failure with Indignation is that Roth's words are not transformed into something tangible.
Movies aren't about ideas, they're about interactions. If you're going to do a literary adaptation, then adapt it.
VENUS - JOANNE SOH
Lerman has come a long way since playing a demi-god in the Percy Jackson movies.
He carries himself very well here.
It may not be as strong as his 2014 war drama, Fury, but it is certainly a mature performance for the baby-faced 24-year-old.
Indignation is a slow-burner, and after being bombarded by loud, action-packed summer blockbusters, the pace here is surprisingly refreshing.
That said, it may bore others.
It's a coming-of-age story, and it's engaging primarily because of the strong acting.
Gadon looks the part of the fragile and flirtatious distraction, but her character could have been more developed to explore her troubled past.
For a movie that centres on young love, the standout performances aren't from the couple. They are compelling enough, but somehow their relationship feels clinical.
Maybe it's because I can't shake off the fact that Gadon looks a tad old next to Lerman.
Call me superficial but their chemistry just doesn't sizzle for me.
Instead, watch out for the excellent verbal sparring between Marcus and the dean.
Equally great is when Marcus' mum (Emond) unleashes her mother-hen reasoning on why her precious son should never get tangled up with a woman like Olivia.
THE CONSENSUS: Girls might not mind the movie but guys may feel the indignation if they have to sit through it.