SNAILS IN THE RAIN IS A COMPELLING PORTRAIT OF A COUPLE IN CRISIS.
Snails in the Rain (the title becomes clear only at the very last scene) is a terrific work of art; a cinematic portrait of a couple at a point of crisis. The drama hinges on two axes: the girlfriend’s reaction to the discovery of the anonymous letters, and – of course – the identity of the writer.
Military life and homo-eroticism are a guaranteed cinematic crowd puller. Young, fit men in testosterone-charged situations; physical contact, shower scenes, combat action and macho banter. It is the stuff of many gay men’s fantasy. To his credit, film director Yariv Mozer captures the erotic mystique of army life in a beautiful and understated manner.
The film’s weakness lies in the linguistic sphere – an irony, given that Boaz is a student of linguistics. It is unavoidable, I concede, that many of the cultural references would be lost on a non-Israeli audience (and there are several inserts of Israeli television programs from the 1980s which will have Israelis heaving a sigh of nostalgia), but there is no excuse for the numerous clumsy – not to mention incorrect – translations from Hebrew to English.
As the hands of the clock on the wall crawl towards the deadline, Boaz finds himself in the kitchen. The inevitable question floats in the air and brings the drama to a climax: will he or won’t he flick the light switch three times?
My lips are sealed.