Friday, May 15, 2020

"ABE" Film Review 5/15/2020

Available Now
4 / 5 Stars
Breaking Glass Pictures

(All photos courtesy Breaking Glass Pictures (c))

I’ve always been a sucker for food scenes in films. Even if it’s just for a minute of screen time, watching a character shave garlic for a sauce or a character preparing a full course meal has always made me hungry. Now, the film, “ABE” is much more than just a food film. The film stars Noah Schnapp (of "Stranger Things" fame) as a young aspiring chef Abe who learns the ways of the kitchen from a street chef named Chico (played by Seu Jorge). Abe’s family is half-Israeli, half-Palestinian which creates the dramatic tension in the film for young Abe.

The film is an interesting mix of young and old. The style of the film incorporates narration from Abe and utilizes a point of view approach of a modern teenager. Instagram posts, other social media jargon, etc. While at the core of the story, we have a traditional family with very distinct beliefs that clash as they have for hundreds of years.

Brazillian director Fernando Grostein Andrade creates an atmosphere of light hearted comedy with the food scenes. They are fun to watch and Noah Schnapp portrays Abe in a way that makes you want to see what happens with his character. This is pushed up against the drama of the family divide. Young Abe makes a meal in hopes of bringing his family together. In some ways I would have preferred the film focus on the food story line and minimize the dramatic family saga. At times it ventured into melodrama akin to a television drama from overseas.

Having said that, the film, “ABE” was still an enjoyable coming of age story told through the unique lens of food and family. Now I need to go find something to eat.

Mark Sugiyama
Eclectic Arts

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Eclecticartszine AT gmail DOT com

"ABE" Official Trailer

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