Title: Here and Now
Director: Roman Shumunov
Starring: Vlad Dubinsky, Renat Khassanov, Eduard Khmelnitsky
Runtime: 1 hr 30 mins
What It Is: Here and Now is an Israeli drama about an aspiring rap group of three struggling to make ends work in the city Ashdod. One of the three, Andrei (Dubinsky) is an immigrant balancing work, bills, bankruptcy, helping out his ailing father, taking care of his kid sister Chris, and rehearsing with the group in order to be concert-ready.
What We Think: While very nicely shot, with a crisp image and a well-coordinated palette, good editing, and very nicely performed with believable acting and a grounded cast, the film’s story is something to be desired. Not that there was anything necessarily wrong with it—all the technical elements are all together, the characters work: it was otherwise a rather bland and too-familiar a story. It is yet another chronicling of a dreamer who has everything to gain and everything to lose, who will do anything to make it but has the family he has to take care of and protect… In basic, if you’re looking for a much softer, gentler, slightly more subtle and less memorable 8 Mile, you’ve got it here. I can appreciate the message and what was delivered as well as a good lot of the soundtrack, I just couldn’t find anything new and exciting in what I received.
Our Grade: C-, I honestly commend it for its themes of poverty and determination and all that, I really do. My problem is it’s a rather run-of-the-mill concept. You, I and the Pope have seen this tale time and time again. While here it was a fair effort, I couldn’t gather anything from it that countless other storytellers have already given me but with more flare, and certainly more memorability.