Sunday, April 10, 2011

Holy Rollers, a musing on faith vs. blind faith

Holy Rollers, B+

Holy Rollers is a character drama about faith, or faith vs. blind faith. The best part about this film for me is Kevin Asch’s patient unobtrusive camera. Instead of throwing in stylistic flourishes and overcomplicating things like so many first time directors do, he really just lets the world exist and lets the actors drive the emotions of the film.
         Holy Rollers is about a Hasidic Jew named Sam, played excellently as always by Jesse Eisenberg, who kind of has to choose between the pure religious life of his family and the decadent high paying drug-peddling lifestyle of his friend Yosef, played surprisingly well by Justin Bartha (humorous sidekick Riley in National Treasure). While Sam is happy with the comfort of his family, he also wants money so that they can have a better life.  

         The way it thematically concludes for me, is that it’s important to have faith that you can genuinely defend (as per faith vs. blind faith); that applies to me in my belief in faith but not necessarily God. God isn’t a concept I can really justify, but I think faith definitely is important. For me personally, “having faith” means having faith in other people. The theory (/fact) of interdependence magnifies the reality that our actions all affect one another. Therefore, when I “pray” for something it’s all about hoping people will do “the right thing,” or that I have done enough in my life. For example, I remember back years ago in elementary school I was pitching in a little league baseball game. I was facing the best batter in the league so naturally I was tremendously nervous. At that very moment I prayed as hard as I could to God that he wouldn’t hit a home run. I threw this pitch and he grounded out. Back then, I was thinking of course that God helped me, but looking back, I think that it was a culmination of my hard work and perhaps a little luck. I’m a-okay with that, and I think Holy Rollers would agree.

You can find the film on Netflix Instant Watch.

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