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Cast

Credited cast:
Gil Alon ...
...
Ran
Boaz Avni ...
Piano player
Adam Baruch ...
Museum guide
Debbi Besserglick ...
Chaya
...
Helli
Yosef Carmon ...
Shmuel Green
...
Shira Geffen ...
Rivka Neuman ...
...
Tamar
Sarit Seri ...
Mother Baum
Motti Sharon ...
Shasha
Tomer Sharon ...
...
Eran
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Genres:

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Release Date:

1997 (Israel)  »

Also Known As:

Mr. Baum  »

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1.85 : 1
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Connections

Follows Life According to Agfa (1992) See more »

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Dying would have been better with superior execution.
16 June 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Time, Death... what's the difference and can you jokingly time death like you can timely kill a joke?

Mar Baum has a brilliant premise. It tells the story of Mickey Baum, a white middle-aged man, who is bald, very fat and very married, and the day in which he's nonchalantly told by his doctor that he has just 92 more minutes to live. There's no point in rushing to the emergency room. The time spent in traffic jams alone would ensure they never get to even look at him. Medicine has nothing to offer him, so says the doctor.

The rest of the movie deals with the passage of this time (almost in real-time) as Baum, appreciating the urgency, turns to tying loose ends. It may sound too simple but the story unravels in a non-linear way, intelligently weaving three time narratives observing the same passage. The first is the "present" occurrence, presented through the eyes of Baum; the second is shown through the eyes of his loved ones as they accompany him on his last way to burial, and the third is further still in the future, when his last moments are archived in an art exhibition revolving the subject of "Time", allowing the visitors to appreciate its meaning through this particular's last moments. These three narratives allow the viewer to zoom in and out of the situation and inspect it from diverse perspectives and through different eyes, which enrich the story altogether.

The underlying writing is good. Macabre and filled with pathos (perhaps overly so at times) yet still, framing this tragedy in a dark comical way succeeds thanks the genuinely smart writing.

Unfortunately that capable writing doesn't translate to great monologues and the situation is worsen by quite frankly- bad acting. There's an exaggeration in the use of puns and their cliché execution by actor known for their slapstick or otherwise over-the-top comedy, that detracts from the overall experience, transporting what could have a been a smart, moving and genuinely funny dark comedy- into the realms of 3rd rate witticisms-fest and B movies.

Handled differently and with more delicacy and care, this film could have been a gem.


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