Eastern Europe, 1904. A Jewish woman, Yentl, has a thirst for knowledge but is prohibited from learning due to the restrictions of her religion. When her father dies, she sets off to increase her knowledge, posing as a man in order to gain admission to a Jewish religious school.Written by
I'll be the first to admit that Barbra Streisand is not my favorite performer--I can take her or leave her, depending on my mood. However, I enjoyed Yentl immensely, despite its flaws.
First of all, the music is magnificent. Michel Legrand wrote songs that are both perfect for the movie and can be taken out of context as concert material (some of them, anyway--"Papa, Can You Hear Me?" is somewhat of a stretch). However, I was supremely disappointed that Mandy Patinkin doesn't sing a note in this movie. Obviously, the movie was meant for Barbra--it was HER baby--but still. Why cast Mandy as your leading man (and he was very appealing, I must say) in a "movie-musical" and not write a single song for him? Gah.
And to everyone who says that the movie is not credible because Barbra could never pass as a man, I say listen to the soundtrack. There's a lyric in "Tomorrow Night" (the one about her wedding to Hadass) that says "They may have eyes but they don't see,/They never really look at me./People are blind!/How else would everyone believe me?" Yentl didn't think that her plan would ever work, but people are easily deceived by her man's clothing.
Anyway. I liked this movie very much, and I certainly recommend it, but I can see how, if one can't stomach Barbra Streisand, it might be a bit jarring and obnoxious.
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