Review: Zero Motivation

Not a waste

ZERO MOTIVATION (Talya Lavie). 100 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (December 12). For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NNN

In Talya Lavie‘s Zero Motivation, two friends who hate their stupid jobs look for any excuse to defy authority, waste time and entertain each other. You probably have friends just like them, except that your friends probably aren’t armed.

The film is set in the Israel Defense Forces, where neurotic underachiever Daffi (Nelly Tagar) is forever being dragged into trouble by her manic BFF, Zohar (Dana Ivgy). It’s like a Hebrew-language riff on the sitcom Broad City, with a few twists that likely never occurred to Abbi Jacobson and Ilana Glazer.

Lavie tracks the crushing boredom of clerical work in a miserable office, her protagonists suffering the indignities of low rank and minimal responsibility. It’s a slow-burn sort of deal the more time we spend with Daffi and Zohar, the more we can appreciate their inventive reactions to external pressures.

A word of warning: though Zero Motivation is being sold as a comedy, and it mostly is, it also includes some fairly jarring elements. Be prepared for some darkness amidst the laughs.

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