By Dirk Sonniksen | January 19, 2014
Director: Oren Carmi
Writer: Oren Carmi
Starring: Yitzhak Laor, Yahav Gal, Ronny Dotan
By day Goldberg (Yitzhak Laor) is a computer programmer. By night Goldberg scours Internet dating sites searching for a lady friend. But Goldberg’s only connection is rejection. Enter Eisenberg (Yahav Gal), who strikes up an odd conversation with Goldberg relaxing in a park. This conversation leads to more confrontations between the two and more odd conversations until Goldberg begins to feel threatened by Eisenberg. Put simply, Goldberg cannot rid himself of Eisenberg. Paranoia sets in and Goldberg’s life is turned upside down as his dating woes become the least of Goldberg’s worries. Goldberg does get lucky when he meets Noa (Ronny Dotan), but if Eisenberg has his way, this relationship will not last long. What will become of poor Goldberg and will he ever escape the lunacy of the man who is slowly driving him mad?
Labeling Goldberg & Eisenberg as a comedy is pushing it perhaps, but it is quite funny—it’s dark funny. That the film makes the jump from humorous to disturbing rather quickly gives Goldberg & Eisenberg its panache. Our two leads play off each other beautifully and it becomes a guilty pleasure watching Eisenberg sink his proverbial teeth into Goldberg for no apparent reason. The fun ends when the two begin their dark descent into a surreal kind of revenge. We recognize Goldberg early on as a loner who seems to be headed in no particular direction, but has Eisenberg randomly chosen this unfortunate soul simply to test Goldberg’s resolve and will Goldberg rise to the occasion? As for Eisenberg, we wait for that spark of humanity and while it may bubble to the surface at times, he continues to be an antagonist that audiences love to hate. Eisenberg’s character is very much reminiscent of Walter Sobchak in The Big Lebowski; you love him in a really weird way, he makes you laugh, but you wish he would just go away.
It’s wonderful to see a film like Goldberg & Eisenberg being made in Israel and equally satisfying to see actors Yitzhak Laor, Yahav Gal, and Ronny Dotan give such stellar performances. From what I can gather, this is director Oren Carmi’s first film and I sincerely hope it’s not his last. Carmi brought together great actors, outstanding cinematography, a unique script, and a soundtrack by Hod Moshonov that is simply fantastic—on an estimated budget of $100,000. If you’re a fan of Tarantino or the Coen brothers, you should thoroughly enjoy Goldberg & Eisenberg. Advice: If you watch Goldberg & Eisenberg at home, wear headphones—they really make the soundtrack pop.