"Teenage angst on a whole different level"
I love watching films that not make me think, but also educate me. Unfortunately, they’re generally not the kind of film that you want to go and see on a Friday night – I do enough thinking during the week and want to have the ability to switch off at the end of it. Fortunately, I get to review them from time to time, so I don’t end up being a complete blockbuster bore.
Holy Rollers is one such film. Following the actions of Sam Gold (played brilliantly by Jessie Eisenberg), the film is a lesson in Hasidic Judaism, family values, and the impact of commercialism on our society. Now I know that all sounds pretty heavy, and if I’m honest, rather boring, but when you consider all of this is played out between Brooklyn and Amsterdam, and involves around one million ecstasy pills, things start to get a little more interesting.
Simply put, Sam’s family is poor. There is love in abundance, but that can’t make up for the fact that their status in the community is low. When this results in Sam being denied a blessing for marriage from the local rabbi (I had NO idea arranged marriages were part of Hasidic Jewish culture), an offer to make some quick money by his neighbour Yosef (Justin Bartha) is too good to be true. Quickly, Sam becomes embroiled in one of the biggest ecstasy smuggling operations of the nineties, and when, like all good things, it comes to an end, he is left to face the consequences of his actions.
What’s good about this film is that the emotions contained within are something we’ve all experienced. Ok, so the highs and lows felt by Sam Gold might be a little bit more extreme than those faced by most of us, but his journey remains the same, and just like us, he realises that in the end, love is enough. Cheesy I know, but true.