Orthodox (2015) is a English movie. David Leon has directed this movie. Oliver Woollford,Stephen Graham,Michael Smiley,Sidney Kean are the starring of this movie. It was released in 2015. Orthodox (2015) is considered one of the best Crime,Drama movie in India and around the world.
Benjamin, a boy bullied for his Jewish faith, takes up boxing as a means of self-defense, alienating himself from his religious community. As an adult caught between two worlds, his desperation to provide for his family becomes the catalyst for a devastating series of events that ensures he may never find the acceptance he has always craved.
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Stephen Graham plays Ben Levy a Jewish man who has married outside his faith but has two sons he wants to bring up as Jews. He had a turbulent childhood and saw boxing as his way of bettering himself. He is tied to the coattails of Shannon (Michael Smiley) who does the dirty work for the local Jewish community and promotes unlicensed bar knuckle fights as a sideline. Ben is in money and emotional problems and gets offered the chance to make enough money to sort his life out. After he follows through on the deal things go from bad to very much worse in very short time. Now the acting here is all fine with some very good performances – Graham is always excellent value for money as is Smiley. The problems come with the story and some of the scenes as far as believability is concerned. The final scene left me quite bewildered as to what they thought they were doing. I can't say what that was as it would be a massive plot spoiler. There are also scenes of greyhounds throughout and whilst I can guess at the meaning it seemed to be a bit tenuous to me. I did however enjoy this for the most part hence my rating but I am being 'glass half full' – if in doubt stream or rent as you will not get anything new on a second viewing.
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning Benjamin (Stephen Graham) grew up on the mean streets of London, and was bullied for his Jewish faith. Against the wishes of his Orthodox father, he took up boxing to learn to defend himself and in his adult years finds himself taking part in bare knuckle fighting jobs on the side to bring in a bit of extra cash to help wife Alice (Rebecca Callard) and young son. Benjamin is controlled by Shannon (Michael Smiley), a local hood who talks him into doing a spot of arson, which ends in him being sent to prison for manslaughter. Upon his release, he finds his local community more under Shannon's grip than ever, and life is about to get even more tough. Serving as an extension of a short film he made just a few years ago, director David Leon now offers this expurgated version that serves as his feature length debut. It still, however, feels very much like a student offering, in its presentation and delivery. It's obviously been made on a very low budget, and while this doesn't detract from it in itself, it's the quality of the material that lets it down. Reverting to his Snatch performance, here Stephen Graham once again dons a cockney accent, and once again pulls it off quite well. He certainly can't be faulted for trying to inject some light into this, as can't co star Smiley, but while it drips in a moody, drowned out, lingering style that is quite impressive, the same can't be said for the substance, with nothing underneath to really make you feel for the characters or galvanised by their plight. There's some meaty themes to explore, some great casting and enormous potential all round, but somehow it all just misfires and isn't the sum of its parts. **
I'm only writing this review to do justice to the film. It deserves at least a 6.5-7, not a 5. A 5 would be if this was poorly directed or acted, both of which it was not. It was very neatly done and produced well, along with a sobering plot line. This movie was an interesting combination of a traditional bleak British drama in and a diasporic religious theme, a unique combination. Last time I saw Stephen Graham was in Snatch, which was also a good performance as a supporting actor. Stephen Graham in this movie as the lead role really did a solid job, and provided that heart felt guy- cry feel I felt the movie was trying to portray. The other actors performed well and were very convincing. It almost reminded me of a British version of Out of the Furnace, with the theme of having to box your way out of poverty. I really felt Graham's conviction throughout the movie, taking care of his wife, working as a butcher, on a mission to find his children, and dealing with the Rabbis. I wouldn't even call the movie slow paced because a film like this should never go at a faster pace, it's meant to be experienced slowly to provide that bleak dismal feeling. Michael Smiley was so evil in this, I really enjoyed how vicious he was. Also a solid performance. If they wanted to score even higher, they could have added a few more subplots to make it even more convoluted and dynamic, or perhaps given a tad bit more info on where the children went. Other than that, good job to the team who produced this. It was enjoyable to watch, a tidily produced portrait of Jews in Britain and the criminal underworld, and is worth a second watch for sure.