Shakily plotted low-budget work by some respectable talents
This is a kind of comedy that might have been more at home on the burlesque stage, featuring a sad sack of an army draftee played by an actor who although skilled-- this was a defining role for Yaackov Bodo's career-- is too old to play an enlisted man and who elicits slow-burn reactions from an officer who wears a gigantic and obviously phony mustache. (The mustache comes with the Israeli stereotype of a master sergeant.) There is some fast mixed-up wordplay in the Abbott and Costello style, and there are light musical interludes from a young vocal trio-- the Gashashim-- who were just on their way to many years of similar comedy and song at the top of the Israeli entertainment world. The plot is a thin excuse for a collection of skits with little progression, although it does accumulate (one could scarcely say it builds) to a point near the end where Bodo looks back on it all in a monologue that deepens the tone a bit. The disjointed structure of the film presumably has to do partly with lack of funds and partly with the anarchic sensibility of director Uri Zohar, who even jump-cuts a few visual impossibilities into one of the musical numbers. (This was right after Richard Lester's HELP!) Also on hand is Shai K. Ophir, the Israeli master of mime, who does a silent turn as a safe-cracker.
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