Never Too Late (2011)

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Okay, it’s nothing that we haven’t seen covered in numerous other movies – a young man reconciling his memories with the reality of things as he learns more about his late father – but Never Too Late does everything very, very well indeed and balances the standard angst and potential drama with a rather uplifting view of the world passing around the central character.

That central character is played by Nony Geffen, and a fine job he does in the role. There are a number of other important characters in the movie but perhaps the biggest shadow cast over the whole movie comes from the deceased father (played superbly by Ami Weinberg). Though we shouldn’t forget to include Robinson Crusoe, referenced a number of times as a book that the central character enjoys reading – enabling viewers to keep in mind themes of loneliness and survival in a harsh environment and of also really wanting someone by your side to help you either survive the worst moments or at least approve of your decisions.

The whole thing is nicely, if unspectacularly, shot and the emotional layers are peeled away at different points to expose different “wounds”. Nothing is too heavyhanded, though others may disagree with that opinion, but everything is allowed to bubble right up and over the surface at one point or another.

Ido Fluk, with his feature film debut, definitely shows a lot of potential, not least in the way that he presents everything here as something that audiences have all seen before and can identify with yet also not something that will bore everyone to tears. There are one or two moments that feel as if they’ve been shoehorned in just to add something obviously provocative (in the artistic sense) but, generally, the balance works very well and simply allows the movie to move naturally from one scene to the next while audiences both grow to like the characters onscreen and also empathise with the gamut of emotions that are shown. The themes explored may be serious but the film isn’t without humour and, indeed, a healthy helping of optimism.

There may be hundreds of you entirely unimpressed by the approach that the movie takes, almost like the cinematic equivalent of “slow and steady wins the race”, but I felt that there was a pleasing fluidity to the content even during the more sedate moments and that this was a bit of a rare thing – a slow and thoughtful, independent, artistic movie that never actually felt as if it was about to come to an absolute standstill.

Never Too Late is showing on Sun 24 June (15:15) at Cineworld and Sat 30 June (19:15) in Filmhouse 3.

WRITER/DIRECTOR: IDO FLUK
STARS: NONY GEFFEN, KEREN BERGER, AMI WEINBERG, PIRA KANTOR, EYAL ROZALES, SHIFRA MILSTEIN
RUNTIME: 93 MINS APPROX
COUNTRY: ISRAEL

Film Rating: ★★★½☆

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