Movie Night – Golda

Directed: Guy Nattiv

Writer: Nicholas Martin

Starring: Helen Mirren, Liev Schreiber

Trivia: The song at the end of the movie is “Who by Fire” by Leonard Cohen. It is based on a prayer said by Jews during  Yom Kippur.  Cohen travelled to Israel in October 1973 to perform a series of concerts, which inspired him to write this song, which appeared on his 1974 album, “New Skin for the Old Ceremony.”

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You know how some movies get hyped as “THE BEST,” but when you revisit them, the excitement doesn’t hold up? Conversely, certain films gain significance and meaning as the years roll by.

Golda,” released this summer, initially didn’t pique my interest, despite being a Helen Mirren fan. Golda Meir, as the only female prime minister in Israel, didn’t strike me as a feminist icon. She seemed more like a “male” figure, a sentiment echoed by Ben Gurion’s infamous comment about her having the “balls” to tell him the truth.

This scepticism intensified with the film’s release and reviews.

Enter… October 07. 

That day felt like history repeating itself, stronger and scarier. Suddenly, the movie became relevant, forcing a reconsideration of Golda’s leadership during the Yom Kippur War. Perhaps the woman blamed for the war’s failure was more adept at crisis management than the men around her, certainly more than the current so-called “leadership”.

This year was filled with many biopics. The most famous is, of course, “Oppenheimer” by Christopher Nolen, but we also saw “Napoleon” by Ridley Scott and “Maestro” by Bradley Cooper.   Like any other biopic, the major question for any screenwriter and director is whether to focus on one singular event in that person’s life or to give a whole “from cradle to death” story.

Golda“, featuring Helen Mirren, focuses on the intense 19 days of the Yom Kippur War. Despite some flaws, the film weaves a compelling narrative that keeps you engaged. Mirren’s sensational performance elevates the movie, even in moments that edge towards repetition.

The film creates tension and captures war’s horrors without relying on flashy battle sequences. Scenes from a helicopter overlooking the battlefield or the chilling radio chatter provide subtle yet powerful moments. The action unfolds in war rooms, reminiscent of Princess Leia’s strategic planning, where characters react to unsettling radio chatter, delivering a poignant and emotional experience.

Golda’s personal touch, particularly her concern for casualties, stands out. The film wisely avoids drowning in military details, focusing on the emotional toll of war. Mirren’s portrayal of Golda, with impeccable makeup and a captivating accent, captures the duality of a woman grappling with anxiety yet projecting confidence and humour. 

Her leadership style, although controversial, makes you yearn for such strength and trustworthiness in today’s political arena where there are no “Leaders” only politicians.

While the film could have explored more facets of Golda’s life, it sparked curiosity about its subject. Mirren’s charismatic portrayal makes you want to delve deeper into this controversial figure. A historical movie encouraging the audience to learn more is undoubtedly a success.

For those expecting grand battle sequences, “Golda” may not fit the bill. It’s more of a dialogue-heavy drama, focusing on behind-the-scenes political manoeuvres. However, this decision adds a unique dimension to the storytelling, enhancing the overall viewing experience.

Beyond Mirren’s outstanding performance, the cinematography surprises with excellence despite budget constraints. The following shots and handheld camerawork contribute to the film’s visual appeal.

In summary, if you’re interested in historical biopics and like dialogue-heavy dramas, this is definitely the movie for you to watch on Movie Night. 

Verdict – 3.5/5 Stars


Would love to get your impressions and thoughts about the movie in the comment box below.
Let’s start a conversation.

 

2 thoughts on “Movie Night – Golda”

  1. Sure, would love to see some battle sequences to reflect the moments and give weight to the movie
    I liked the leadership of Golda Meir,I also have Single Child,A girl,I named after The Late Grand Mom GOLDA.
    She’s Golda Jackson Jerry.
    I will also watch the movie.Thanks.

    1. Thanks for your great contribution Jerry.

      I think the decision NOT to add battle sequences was wise as it allowed focusing on the character and not the event itself. I believe the fact that they have chosen to portray the battle through listening to the reports from the front made it even more dramatic.

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