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Orthodox

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars
orthodox
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Time Out Says

3 out of 5 stars

Two great British actors fire up this drama about a man's search for faith

Stephen Graham and Michael Smiley are two British actors who always make you look twice. They’re both strong presences in this gloomy, atmospheric film about a troubled Jewish butcher, Benjamin (Graham), and a local crim, Shannon (Smiley), whose orbit Benjamin has been in since he was a young boy caught between bullies, his faith, disapproving parents and a growing knack for boxing.

Now that Benjamin is a grown man, married with two kids and lumbered with a failing shop in a terrible area of an unnamed British city, life is harder than ever – making him a prime target for a shady local rabbi-cum-property magnate, Goldberg (Christopher Fairbank), whose dirty work Shannon manages. The feature debut of actor David Leon, ‘Orthodox’ displays a deft handling of mood. The story and characterisation are a mixed bag, though. Too many questions are posed but unanswered, and some key events feel distractingly bogus.

To its credit, ‘Orthodox’ offers a strong sense of a community where faith and authority mask moral corruption and personal greed. Just as ‘Spotlight’ has it in for priests, this is no ad for rabbis.

Dave Calhoun
Written by
Dave Calhoun

Release Details

  • Release date:Friday 19 February 2016
  • Duration:93 mins

Cast and Crew

  • Director:David Leon
  • Screenwriter:David Leon
  • Cast:
    • Stephen Graham
    • Christopher Fairbank
    • Michael Smiley
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