‘An impressive and intriguing opening […] [with] such a lame ending to a really slow and repetitive film’
The Man in the Wall, 2015
Directed by: Evgeny Ruman
Starring: Tamar Alkan, Gilad Kahana
The Man in the Wall has an impressive and intriguing opening, where Shir (Tamar Alkan) wakes up to a neighbour who returns her dog after Shir’s husband, Rami (Gilad Kahana), took the dog out for a walk but has suddenly disappeared, unfortunately it begins a slow fall off a cliff soon after. Told entirely in Shir’s apartment, the film is basically a series of conversations that Shir has without a mystery for us to really solve and without a Rami character for us to know beforehand.
After realising Rami has disappeared (with his phone and wallet still at home) Shir’s house is visited by her friend and her new partner, where they drink wine and talk, then by the police, and they talk, then by Shir’s male friend, and they talk, and then by Rami’s male friend, and they talk, and then by Rami’s female friend and they talked. It’s all supposed to be dialogue that pieces together a mystery that the police aren’t helping with (I’ll come back to this point) and a relationship dynamic between Rami and Shir that may have shaped his sudden disappearance. But it’s just repetitive conversations and scenes one after another. The policeman is especially bad.
In order to get the police around she makes up a story that Rami has hit her (the police do not treat a missing person until 24hours has passed) and when they come they basically talk about why she lied (answer: to get them around) and why she chose that particular lie (answer: she doesn’t know). But the police cannot get their head around this concept and they ask and ask and ask and ask and it becomes quite stale pretty quick.
I must admit it has its intrigue; where has Rami gone? Was he abducted and thus the dog was set free? Has he ran away to have an affair like Shir suspects? Why didn’t he take his phone out with him when he walked the dog? So I sat through repeated conversations (there are three phone calls between Shir and her male friend, who is outside, about whether or not he wants to come upstairs . . . Three phone conversations) in hope that the final scenes reveal a great twist and a great ending to the mystery.
It’s such a lame ending to a really slow and repetitive film, and its ending barely feels like an ending it’s so poorly done.
Its acting is pretty decent and setting it all in a house allows for some pretty decent camera angles as we follow her around and some great pans to outside when she’s giving one of her many phone conversations with her friend. However it’s a boring mystery with a boring ending and about ten lines of dialogue in the whole film being rearranged to fit 90-minutes.
Personal: * Acting: * * * Writing: * * Presentation: * * *