A man walks into his own apartment in the middle of the day while his wife is napping there, and it seems he is intrigued by the chance to see the components of his life and not to affect them. The ghostliness of his presence prompts him to experiment with the contrast of a limited, manageable impact-- pushing a napkin-holder off a table. More and more, he withdraws from interaction with his everyday world. Sometimes he hides and observes, other times he just hides. Sometimes he makes noise where there is no one to hear. Is this exciting cinema? Is it relevant? Will it draw audiences? Being an Israeli-German coproduction, maybe THE EXCHANGE, with its emphasis on alienation and inaction, will go over better in Germany, since Israelis are a rather busy and involved population. You need to be willing, to some extent, to enjoy observation as a substitute for action, the way the protagonist does. But the bottom line is that with so little happening, and not all of it clearly motivated, I doubt that the script would have been shot at all if the creator weren't recently responsible for the beloved film THE BAND'S VISIT, and I consider myself lucky to have caught the film on its commercial opening night because I'm not sure it will last out the week.
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