INDIGNATION is a new film that I think has a zero marketing budget. But with a solid word of mouth and a strong critic rating, I sensed this was a movie to be seen (and seen before it disappears from the big screen.
Not surprised to learn that the film was based on the book of the same name written by very esteemed author Philip Roth.
In this film you are quickly transported to the early 50's where many young American men were being drafted and shipped off (and dying) in Korea (with the memories of WWII less than a decade before in everyone’s mind).
With the legislation that full time students cannot be drafted, blue collar son Marcus played engagingly well by Logan Lerman, is college bound.
His Dad ran the local, probably Kosher, butcher and Marcus worked there as well when not studying. He was raised in middle class Newark, NJ and you have a sense in a Jewish neighborhood as an only child.
Clearly Marcus has the academic chops along with inquisitiveness to experience the larger world, heads off to a small school in Ohio. Clearly he was ready for the larger world, but Dad was frustrated by his no longer 100% obedient son.
At Winesburg College, Marcus is one of only 90 Jewish students on campus. He rooms with 2 Jewish upper class roommates and is rushed by the only Jewish fraternity (he declined).
He puts his head down and is totally focused on his school work, his on campus job and that's it. Dad pushes him (and Mom to some extent) encourage him to get out, meet people etc.
In short, he raises his head up and takes notice of a blond, bomb shell who appears older, mature and flirts lightly with Marcus…. he's now pudding until they go on a date out to dinner. With time to spare before dorm curfew, she asks him to pull off onto a side road (he has borrowed his upper clansman roommates a car). In short, she performs fellatio on this very innocent and novice Marcus and it changes their relationship 180 degrees.
Marcus is clearly confused by this fast-paced young lady and it knocks him off his academic game. He continues to have no patience with Dad, has a tete a tete with his roommates, has serious words with the Dean of Men at the school and things are clearly "spiraling"…including medically.
I'm going to let the review stop here and you can see the rest. It is not a complicated story line but clearly a number of important sub plots and story lines.
As simple this story is, the setting, costuming, story line, casting and more kept my interest 100%. I think it was a heck of a period piece with a terrific script.
Ending was nothing sensational but neither was the tenor of the film. But it all really worked as one watched characters fill their expected roles as students, parents, girl friends, roommates, administrators during war time but also with the liberal ideas of early rock and roll and other vehicles, young people were feeling the pull to stray from tradition.
I am sure there were some deeper sub stories relating to religion, co-ed education, being and only child that I missed. I still visually and story wise really enjoyed "Indignation"