"Bittersweet, Heartwarming Hilarity"
What You Need To Know:
iMORDECAI is heartwarming, occasionally harrowing and often hilarious. It makes its crusty protagonist both likable and relatable. The movie’s animated flashbacks, which tell the story of Mordecai’s past before, during and after World War II, are very well done. iMORDECAI has a strong moral worldview with strong pro-capitalist elements and redemptive content. It stresses love, forgiveness, marriage, family, empathy, and laughter. Sadly, however, iMORDECAI is marred by more than 10 gratuitous “f” words.
iMORDECAI is a bittersweet, autobiographical comedy of relearning how to love in the midst of life’s trials and triumphs.
Mordecai is a Polish Holocaust survivor living in Brooklyn with his beloved wife, Fela, who’s beginning to develop dementia. Mordecai’s life is transformed when his son, Marvin, buys him a new iPhone. They find a “gig economy” entrepreneur named Nina to give the elderly man lessons on how to use it. Nina leads a group of tech-savvy friends nicknamed “The Einsteins” to help Mordecai.
A new world opens up to Mordecai via social media. He begins to see the impact he’s had and continues to have on the lives of others, his wife, his son and his new friends. These revelations help bring Mordecai, and many people with whom he interacts, to a new awareness that life is indeed beautiful and that one should never allow its trials to poison one’s love of life and love for others.
Meanwhile, Mordecai’s son, Marvin, is pulled in three different directions. His wife, Netta, just gave birth to twins. He’s trying to sell his cigar company. Finally, he’s struggling with his parents getting older not to mention his mother’s early signs of dementia.
A 21st Century LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL with FIDDLER ON THE ROOF moments, iMORDECAI manages to be heartwarming, occasionally harrowing and often hilarious. The movie has a great cast, with Judd Hirsch playing the father, Carol Kane playing the mother, Sean Astin playing the son, and Tony Award winning actress Stephanie J. Block playing the son’s wife. Azia Dinea Hale rounds out the main players as Nina, the young woman who helps the father with his new iPhone.
Mordecai’s bewilderment at the pace of change in the 2020s, and his discovery that change is not always a bad thing is a very uplifting message, which the movie makes in a thoughtful, helpful way. The movie is very real. It manages to portray the harshness and rough edges of its title character, Mordecai, while keeping him likable and relatable. Mordecai’s observance to his new friend, Nina, fits this aspect of the movie well: “We teach each other.” Indeed, they do. Investing in each other, despite vast differences of age and life experience, many characters grow and help others to grow in profound ways. The movie’s animated flashbacks are very well done. They appealingly express the beauty of pre-war Poland, the pain of Mordecai’s childhood loss, the evil of the Holocaust, and the joy of new life.
iMORDECAI has a strong moral worldview with some strong capitalist elements and redemptive values. The characters come to care for each other by building relationships that which allow them to teach each other how to love, forgive, laugh, and cry together. Mordecai and his wife, Fela, have a truly loving marriage relationship which shows itself in their biblical jealousy for each other. In one scene, Mordecai becomes grief stricken regarding a moment where he was not there for Fela. He also stands by her side as she slips deeper into dementia. Other characters demonstrate regret at the great evil of a past generation, and how that evil continues to impact them today. [SPOILER FOLLOWS] It turns out that Nina is the granddaughter of a National Socialist officer in Hitler’s Germany. Mordecai’s growing friendship with Nina brings a powerful theme of forgiveness overcoming fear and hatred to the movie. This theme culminates in an artistic telling of Mordecai’s past, which ends in a powerfully cathartic resolution.
Sadly, however, despite all its positives, iMORDECAI is marred by more than 10 gratuitous “f” words. So, MOVIEGUIDE® must advise strong and extreme caution.
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