Through the Wall (3 stars)

Rama Burshtein's rom-com succeeds thanks to the conviction of leading lady Noa Kooler

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Through the Wall

The heart is a lonely hunter in Through the Wall, a romantic comedy that transfers elements of a typical Bridget Jones romp to an ultra-Orthodox Jewish setting. The result is a plaintive, melancholy offering that has enough of a feel-good factor to tempt the incurably romantic.

Michal (Noa Kooler) is 32 and runs a mobile petting zoo. She seems to have spent a lifetime making all the wrong moves in the search for Mr Right. She hungers for the respect, love and security that she believes can only be found in a lasting marriage. Just like poor Bridget, she is looking for someone who will love her just the way she is. When her impending nuptials are cancelled, Michal takes matters into her own hands. She already has the dress so she merely books a venue, sends out the invitations and puts her faith in God to provide a groom in 22 days.

Rama Burshtein's mellow, warmhearted comedy proceeds in predictable fashion with any number of potential grooms appearing during a succession of blind dates. Dishy rock star Yos (Oz Zehavi) seems too good to be true but starts to gain the inside track on her heart.

There are times when Through the Wall topples into farce and Michal's raspberry beret and multi-coloured wardrobe make her look like a refugee from a 1980s Tama Janowitz novel. The supporting characters are never as fully developed as one might have liked but the film succeeds because of Kooler's sincere performance. Her conviction encourages us to take Michal seriously and share the weary desperation of someone who no longer has the energy or inclination to be all by herself. A little faith brings pleasant rewards for both her and the viewer.

Selected release from Fri 16 Dec.

Through the Wall

  • 3 stars
  • 2016
  • Israel
  • 110 min
  • U
  • Directed by: Rama Burshtein
  • Cast: Noa Kooler, Dafi Alferon, Oz Zehavi
  • UK release: 16 December 2016

Michal (Kooler) is a 32-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish woman who's spent a lifetime looking for Mr Right and when her fiancé dumps her 22 days before her wedding, she's not going to let that stop her. Mellow, warm-hearted comedy; predictable, but Kooler's sincere performance makes it work and brings pleasant rewards.

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