Disobedience is a 2017 film directed by Sebastián Lelio starring Rachel Weisz (among other things, she was great in the 2005 The constant gardener) and Rachel McAdams (she plays Irene Adler in the Sherlock Holmes movies by Guy Ritchie). I saw it at the cinema a few days ago and I admit that it didn’t impress me. The story is simple. Rachel Weisz returns from New York to London after several years of absence to visit her family for her father’s funeral. There, he finds his brother (Alessandro Nivola) who married a woman who initially seems to be only a great friend of Weisz, and then turns out to be much more than that. The love between the two is quickly revived and this shakes the entire Jewish community where they live. And here I stop to avoid further spoilers!
I liked certain things of the movie. For example, it explores the life of an Orthodox Jewish community in the North of London in a very realistic way. This is not surprising as Rachel Weisz, who also produced the film, comes from a Jewish family! The film seemed to me very honest in presenting a closed community which is very reluctant at accepting outsiders like the Weisz character and at understanding the character of McAdams whose only “fault” is being homosexual.
The film deals with themes such as faith, love, free will, and freedom and manages to make us think in a serious way about all that, which is certainly a positive thing. We are faced with many questions. Is McAdams’s husband evil because he does not recognize his wife’s suffering? Or is his behavior just the result of an indoctrination to which he couldn’t or didn’t want to escape? And why didn’t Rachel McAdams leave the community as Rachel Weisz did many years before instead of enduring a life of sadness and pain?
Everything is very interesting, but unfortunately the film is very slow and some of the performances are far from convincing. For example, while Rachel McAdams is fantastic, Rachel Weisz seems tired, so much so that the motivation of her character is still not clear to me. As for the rest, there is nothing particularly exciting: the direction, the soundtrack, the way the plot unrolls… they are all OK, but nothing more, to the point that I found the movie a bit boring. Thus I recommend it only if you like romantic movies, or if you are interested in the more “informative” side of the film about Jewish communities in London. Ciao!