The Ballad of Ari Verderchi | Chicago Reader

The Ballad of Ari Verderchi

Eitan Londner wrote and directed this 2001 slice-of-life drama about a pregnant teen runaway in Tel Aviv (Olga Getmanski) who strikes up a friendship with a slow-witted bike messenger (Tzachi Hanan). The first half follows the girl's seduction into the druggy rock scene, the second her rescue by the messenger, who's mocked by passersby because he chimes in on the gooey pop ballads (by the Israeli band Kaveret) on his boom box. The unlikely platonic romance between the girl and the older messenger recalls Hal Ashby's Harold and Maude but lacks that film's caliber of wit and eccentricity. Every ten minutes Londner interjects a musical break, as if cuing up moods the story can't supply. 76 min.


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