Review: The Matchmaker

The matchmaker and the ‘spy guy’

Film Title: The Matchmaker

Director: Avi Nesher

Starring: Adir Miller, Maya Dagan, Dror Keren

Genre: Drama

Running Time: 97 min

Fri, Feb 14, 2014, 16:50


It has taken a while for Avi Nesher’s 2010 drama – a serious story with comic undertones – to make it to our shores. But the wait has been worthwhile. This is a warm take on Israeli life that incorporates the shadow the Holocaust cast upon the nation’s life in the late 1960s. It could only have taken place in one country, but it has lessons for us all.

Beginning with a framing sequence set during the 2006 Lebanon war, the film flashes back to find Arik (Tuval Shafir), a naive teenager on the cusp of sexual awakening, as he goes to work as “spy guy” to Yankele Bride, a scarred Romanian matchmaker, with the task of ensuring that clients are genuinely seeking marriage rather than easy sex. The film slips in references to hard-boiled US crime fiction, and, in the course of his investigations, Arik uncovers a colourful semi-legal demimonde. Along the way, he also falls for an American girl who brings flavours of exciting new possibilities.

There are some familiar coming-of-age tropes here. But the busy plotting, sense of looming history and gorgeous performances set it aside from the pack. A delightful film that adds just enough sugar to its more bitter pills.

Sign In

Forgot Password?

Sign Up

The name that will appear beside your comments.

Have an account? Sign In

Forgot Password?

Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In or Sign Up

Thank you

You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.

Hello, .

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

Thank you for registering. Please check your email to verify your account.

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.