The talented Yosi Banai puts in a one-note performance as old Gamliel, the sage who sometimes knows more than he lets on but may not be up to handling the problem of his daughter. Is she actually under a spell? Is it true that a fatal curse awaits whoever marries her? The daughter goes through the film almost silent, her beautiful face often in mysterious close-up. Is she uncomprehending, or is she manipulative? She seems to be tearing her way toward the culmination of a Greek tragedy, as around her the film goes through the motions of ethnic sentimentality, occasional comic relief, and the clichés of rich-vs-poor, Ashkenazic-vs-Sephardic tensions. The musical score, by the skillful Nurit Hirsch, becomes repetitive in a way that might indicate inescapable karma or might simply indicate a low budget. As the melodrama mounts, one minor character remarks "This is better than the Forsyte Saga." Well, maybe it isn't, but the girl's face and the mystery of her fate held me till the end.
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