Here it is, ladies and gentlemen, the sequel you’ve been waiting for—Yossi & Jagger 2?
January 24, 2013
(Ohad Knoller and Oz Zehavi in Yossi)
Time Investment: 84 min.
Return on Investment: 48 min.
With the unlikeliest of sequels since Fantasia 2000, Eytan Fox revisits the surviving member of the loving couple from 2003’s heartbreaking Israeli military love story, Yossi & Jagger, in the aptly titled Yossi (Strand Releasing). Ohad Knoller reprises his role, and the years (and weight) are more than apparent on him. Now, as a workaholic doctor in Tel Aviv, Yossi neglects entire parts of his life, preferring to grieve the love he lost and occasionally pleasure himself in any way he can (cue a porn cameo of Michael Lucas’s Men of Israel as well as Atraf, considered the Israeli version of Manhunt). An interlude with an Internet hookup is bang-on, showing that the rules of the chase don’t change much in other countries.
The film deals with some pretty basic closet issues, and when Yossi inevitably meets the man who is going to “change everything”—a horny young soldier played by Oz Zehavi—it turns into a sad sack love story that never quite justifies why the young man is so taken with Yossi in the first place.
With rugged Lior Ashkenazi, the busiest actor working in Israeli film (Fox’s excellent Walk on Water, horror flick Rabies and 2011’s Oscar-nominated Footnote) playing a fun-loving hospital co-worker, Yossi could be regarded as an interesting portrait of an emerging gay man who doesn’t feel good about his body. But ultimately the film has too light a touch and a very weak ending.