Metallic Blues (Danny Verete). 90 minutes. Some subtitles. Opens Friday (July 15) at the Al Green Theatre (see related story, this page). For times, see Indie & Rep film, page 100. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
Q: When is a limousine not a limousine?
A: When it's a metaphor for the decline of American supremacy.
Q: When is a road-trip comedy not a road-trip comedy?
A: When it's the framework for a series of similarly pointed observations about global politics, particularly vis-à-vis Israel's relationship to Europe. Metallic Blues is about two sad-sack Israeli used car dealers, family man Siso ( Moshe Ivgy ) and playboy Shmuel ( Avi Kushnir ), who buy a metallic-blue limousine from an Arab, determined to sell it at an enormous profit in Frankfurt.
Of course, nothing goes as planned. Customs officials assume that they're terrorists, Shmuel's wallet goes missing, the car (an American gas-guzzler in less than mint condition) isn't worth as much as they thought, and nobody's buying. As their fortunes sag, Shmuel finds his idealized image of Germany overwhelmed by visions of the Holocaust, while Siso insists that they return home.
Things get steadily worse, and the film's point gets steadily clearer: thank god they have a home to go to. As these likeable schmoes elaborate on the film's Zionist message, it's impossible not to sympathize and equally impossible to ignore the terrible irony of their situation.