Lost Embrace review

Ariel (Daniel Hendler) is a Jewish college drop-out who longs to leave Buenos Aires behind and start over in Poland. How he's going to get there by endlessly schlepping around the run-down mall where his mum works is anyone's guess. Another mystery is why writer/director Daniel Burman devotes so much time to his whiny hero when he's got a cartload of characters with stories begging to be told.

This multi-cultural melange - Italian radio-repairers, Hassidic merchants, Korean Feng-Shui specialists - help distract from this low-key laugh-drama's near-absence of plot and pace. A whiff of melodrama creeps in when a figure from Daniel's past pops up, but it's too little, too late and can't bolster the themes of ancestry and identity. The end result is like an abortive shopping trip: you see a few things you like, but don't come away with much.

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