Though the title of this movie may seem confusing; within a short while, the story reveals its significance in Jewish tradition that need ten men for every activity. Based on the life of a middle-aged Jewish man Ariel (Alan Sabbagh) who returns back to his humble hometown in Buenos Aires, the movie ‘The Tenth Man’ has a smooth flowing pace to its name. The movie explores Ariel’s reconnection with his father Usher. Revolving around his experiences over a period of one week, the movie depicts his attempts and efforts to relate with his roots. While staying away from his father’s charitable nature and his sincere desire to help all those around, Ariel’s married life as an economist in the happening city of New York was totally different in every way.
As he hopes to spend time with his father and enjoy the ambiance of his childhood home, his father’s involvement into various charitable activities and duties bring back the memories from his past. Though his father supported Ariel all throughout, his commitment into traditional Jewish practices and acts of charity kept him away. While Ariel struggled to understand the meaning of these traditions and their role in the modern world, the movie combines shades of humor and sarcasm along the way. A low-key movie with no major highlights or features, the movie offers a simple look into their Jewish district at Buenos Aires.
While Ariel spends time in his father’s charitable organization, with the hope of meeting him in person, his father sends him for various errands through the medium of phone calls, alone. Though Ariel dislikes the typical activities of donation and assistance, he reluctantly agrees to every task during his stay. With simple plot and realistic setup, the movie takes the audience to this little Jewish community, offering insights into their beliefs and traditions. As several aspects of the movie are left to the imagination of the viewers, the storyline may often drift along the way. Lack of words and absence of significant dialogues come across as the lowlights of this movie that may lower the interest of the audience.
Though Usher’s absence comes across as an unbelievable factor of the movie, it is exciting to understand the hidden motive behind it. With a hope to reconnect his son with the roots of their tradition, charity, community and society, his plans of staying away from the scene, yet involve him into various activities appears totally interesting. During the course of this forced work, Ariel’s unusual interaction with a colleague at the organization open his eyes towards the greatness of Usher and value of the Jewish traditions. A single Orthodox woman working for the benefit of her community with no hopes of personal interests, Eva (Julieta Zylberberg) plays a significant, yet silent role throughout the movie. While interacting with Ariel about the Jewish traditions, as she displays her love for the community, Ariel realizes a lot more than expected.
Involving elements of love, relations, traditions and beliefs, director and writer Daniel Burman has certainly touched a novel topic. A movie that shall prompt each one to think about their roots of family and childhood, the story certainly leaves behind a message for all.
Will Ariel understand the significance of his traditions and accept them whole-heartedly or whether he will refuse to believe in them? Will Usher succeed in his mission to motivate his son or fail miserably?
Answering all these questions with a smooth flowing plot, the movie shall certainly entertain you in its own way!
In limited release Friday, August 5.