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Minotaur 1997
Description: Alex Abramov is Mossad secret agent looking after some terrible guys. He falls in love with young melody student Thea, but can not reveal himself and sends her bonuses secretly. Thea first thinks that it gotta be other student, G.R., who sends gifts, and terrible guys, knowing about Alex's feelings towards Thea, attack G.R. by mistake.
Released: N/A Director: Jonathan Tammuz Writers: Benjamin Tamuz (novel), Dan Turgeman, Irving S. White Actors: Mili Avital, Dan Turgeman, Georges Corraface, Christine Jones Genres: Romance, Thriller
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Minotaur Reviews:

I discovered Minotaur by accident when it started testing on HBO channels in October 2001. Seemingly unheralded except for an incorrect two-sentence prologue from HBO, I feel it deserves far more attention than that.The central hero is Alex, an Israeli Mossad killer operating in Fresh York City. Like the Picasso print on his childhood bedroom wall, Alex has become a Minotaur; part beast, part man, for he is also a soulful romantic. Both are legacies from his mother.Happiness had been out of reach for Alex until he sees Thea. She is a student of classical melody and Spanish literature, and a purer ver of his mother.Fearing endangering Thea, Alex watches from a distance but cannot resist moving closer and closer. He leaves wonderful love letters and bonuses for her in territories no stranger could. He contains a ebook of Picasso prints with "his" Minotaur drawing and a Luis de Gongora poem about two hearts in one body. Thea is deeply moved and cannot understand why he stays apart.As he realizes much later, he was a coward not to have left his old methods behind when he first saw her --and the more time that passes, the more risky the conflicted case becomes.The ending, like the happenings leading to it, echo the Gongora poem and Minotaur drawing, whose symbolism had everytime held-out more than one possible meaning for their relationship.The test of art, literature, music, and history to impart deeper meanings to cases is very well done. So is the interplay of shadow and light, down to Alex's stubbled or clean-shaven face, reflecting how far in or out of his dark globe he is.Rather than following a linear time-line, the movie unravels Alex's emotions. The storyline moves between 1963 and the mid-1990s, from a pretty rural home in Israel (that seems to have once been a Palestinian home) to the buildings, streets, and skylines of NYC.Mostly in English, Minotaur is an Israeli production based on the ebook by Israeli creator Benjamin Tammaz. The core references to the perils of the deepening chasm between utter brutality and hope speak to the conflicts there and elsewhere more than ever.The film's star, co-writer and co-producer is Dan Turgeman who used to sometimes test his Sephardic looks for roles in English-language movies that negatively stereotyped Muslims. He may have perhaps required the work as a younger actor, but this is a welcome change.


If you are a ROMANTIC see this movie. If you are not --- stay away. First off I loved it. It is dark, modern, and forces contradictions on you. Like living in todays world. Where everybody is killing every another for their own good. The movie is a variant on Romeo and Juliet except that Juliet doesn't receive to meet Romeo --- exactly. Juliet appears to be a graduate student in Fresh York with an artistic nature. Romeo appears to come from a cultured background, is well read in poetry and melody and practices a profession which is named "wet work" these days.Romeo observes Juliet from a distance and writes her letters. Their only true "contact". In the hands of a various type of movie maker this storyline would descend into an terrible obsessive-love/stalker piece of crud. This movie manages to steer clear of that polarity but makes no bones about the "unhealthy" environment in which Romeo moves and operates. It also shows us that Romeo's love at a distance --- which gives him hope --- is destructive to Juliet. Ultimately what this movie is about is posing a question: "In murderous times like these how can we expect to experience the pretty things which fairytales say us are real, nice and real and ought to be our lot?" Worse, how can we expect "beauty" itself to survive?


A previous reviewer drew an analogy between MINOTAUR and ROMEO AND JULIET. Well, not really. There's no feud between Alex's folks and Thea's, Thea freely takes up with another men, and the private attraction isn't mutual. The more direct analogy is with THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA. In fact, there's a masquerade ball stage that cute much shoves the PHANTOM parallel in our faces (was it intentional?). Did Alex's invisible psychological control of of beautiful, artistic Thea strike the film-makers as PHANTOMish? The differences, aside from the contemporary setting, are that Alex's deformity is moral rather than physical (this phantom is a homicidal Mossad "spook"), there are two sequential Raoul de Chagnys, and Thea, unlike Christine, is a modern screen hero who segues seamlessly from first kiss with a fresh beau to hot bedroom scene. The film itself is fairly gripping; I don't rate it highly because the final scene, where the Mossad agent simply dumps all his training, wasn't believable and looks like a perfunctory wrap.



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