the chosen movie essay summary
The rest of the movie develops this story of two different worlds, against a backdrop of World War II and the formation of the state of Israel. Reuven (Barry Miller) is the son of the intellectual (Maximilian Schell), who is involved in Zionism and the formation of a Jewish state. Danny (Robby Benson) is the son of the rabbi (Rod Steiger), who prefers that his son stay out of politics and, indeed, stay as much as possible out of the modern world.
from countless other movies as one of fedoras, brown overcoats and big black cars with wide running boards. The movie opens on a playground, where one of the kids connects with a baseball that hits the other kid in the eye, temporarily blinding him. The first kid, the son of the scholar, visits the second kid at his home and enters a world of ancient traditions and rigid discipline.
Once he passes the Reb’s inspection, though, Reuven is made welcome in the Saunders family, participating in celebrations and meals and group discussions. Throughout all this, Reuven also maintains his distance, attending college with a group of Jewish friends who are less sympathetic to the Hasidic way of life. ”Hasidim!” one such friend snorts. ”Hasidim, but I don’t believe ’em,” jokes another.
”The Chosen” is rated PG (”Parental Guidance Suggested”). It contains brief but graphic footage of the liberation of concentration-camp inmates after World War II.
The Chosen moves efficiently from country to country and from scenario to scenario, though without ever quite earning the epithet “sweeping”; its tight focus on the characters’ intimate relationships rather than on the wider political context — along with the tight budget — see to that. The period detail is convincing and effective throughout.
We first meet Mercader (Mexican actor Alfonso Herrera, with just the right generic good looks to play a chameleon), a priest-hating, system-breaking Communist in awe of his mother Caridad (Elvira Minguez), fighting in the trenches during the Spanish Civil War. In this as in other big scenes, the film does well to conceal its relatively limited budget, but when it comes, the dramatic payoff on this big opener is slight and unconvincing.
The first season of this series (season 2 will be available at a later time) covers the beginning of Jesus’ ministry up until His encounter with a Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:4-29). Many of Jesus’ teachings, healings and miracles are intertwined throughout the series. The historical costumes, scenery and props transport you to biblical times and seem authentic. The talented cast of characters reel you in to their stories and make you feel like you are walking alongside them as they relate to one another.
The Chosen takes liberties with artistic imagination and dialogue to explain the backstory of some of the characters which helps add to the significance of the biblical events even though it’s fictitious. These backstories reveal their broken or self-centered lives before they met Jesus and show how much they were transformed by Him. Like when Mary Magdalene tells Nicodemus about Jesus delivering her from demons: “I was one way and now I am completely different, and the thing that happened in between was Him.” The series provides a fresh perspective on familiar biblical characters and presents an inspiring yet entertaining story.