Indignation is a film that demands for you to digest it.  Feeling more like a novel than a typical movie (fitting since it’s based on a book), Indignation is a story about star-crossed young lovers that’s not quite a love story.  It’s also very slow and very talky, which is apt because that mirrors freshman Marcus’ approach to life.  Marcus is a wanna-be lawyer who decides to leave Newark to attend school in Ohio.   And not just anindignation-sundance-review-logan-lermany school in any Ohio, this is a Christian school in 1951 Ohio, where attending chapel services is a required part of the curriculum.

That requirement does not sit well with Marcus, because he’s not only from a Jewish family, he’s also an atheist.  Needless to say, he’s quite indignant about this whole thing, and he takes it so personally that you have to wonder why he thought attending this little Christian school was a good idea.  Perhaps it was the only school that offered him a scholarship?  Or maybe he just wanted to get as far away from the family butcher shop as possible.

Whatever brought him there, and despite his strenuous objection to the religious curriculum, he quickly warms to the school when he sees Olivia in his history class, and from there, a romance blooms.  Sort of.

This is going to sound very weird comi8-indignation-_05_2016-10_17_22ng from me, but I could have used a lot more romance than Indignation delivered.  I liked watching Marcus and Olivia deal with their issues.  It was a lot more real than what we usually get from romantic movies.  But too often, just as it was getting interesting between the pair, we’d cut to some other aspect of Marcus’ college life, seeing him ask important-sounding questions in class or arguing with the Dean or quarrelling with his two roommates.  Many of these other scenes halted the movie’s momentum without adding anything important, and as a result ended up feeling like unnecessary filler.

For anyone who has read the book (Jay?), I’d be interested in hearing whether you were more engaged by the parts of the movie that are just about Marcus, or whether they felt extraneous to you as well.

Even with that uneven momentum, there was a lot to like about Indignation and I would recommend it.  I particularly liked the film’s structure and the way the story was told.  Though it started slow, before too long Indignation engaged me and made me curious about where we would end up, especially once Marcus and Olivia met each other. I just wish the movie had been more focused on the two of them, but in the end, I got enough of their story to ensure that Indignation stuck in my head and made me think about fate and love and starry nights.


17 thoughts on “Indignation

  1. Amy Reese

    I wonder about how the character ending up at that school was not adequately explained. It seems they really should have taken the time to fill us in. I’m in the mood for a romance so I want to see it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sean Post author

      It wasn’t that big a thing while the movie was playing but at the end, I had to wonder why he went so far out of his way when the chapel requirement was so offensive to him!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. reocochran

    I am reluctant since I am all about happy endings, Sean. They can be wacky or convoluted but not at a snail’s pace nor sad. . . I hope to see this but if you were a wishing for more romance, just imagine how I would feel. . . Maybe a Redbox rental, with my youngest who likes a wide variety of love stories. (Danish Girl, The Imitation Game, and others. She didn’t like Trainwreck but I did, snorting and laughing “too loudly”)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sean Post author

      Well, I’m hesitant to recommend this to you because ***spoiler alert*** things do not end well.

      Still, I liked the ending and I was glad I saw the movie – it is very well done.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. tubularsock

    Great review, Sean. “Indignation” Tubularsock already is filled up to the brim and then top that with a Jewish kid going to a Christian school and things aren’t looking good.
    And then “things don’t end well” ………. really is a given.

    For Tubularsock if the couple joined ISIS and brutally killed their fellow students in a happy jihad
    moment then at least the movie may be saved by comic relief.
    Oh well, sometimes Tubularsock asks for too much.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. kmSalvatore

    hmmm, you caught my attention, this sounds like something id like to see.
    of course id have to lave hubby home.. he
    ‘d be asking wait what.. becuz of the jumping around.. but i like that in a movie . kool review Sean

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Jay

    You know better than I do what I’ve read and what I haven’t. Regardless I look forward to seeing this.

    Also, I clearly haven’t made you watch The Perks of Being a Wallflower yet, and we need to do that asap.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Pingback: The Large Association of Movie Blogs | LAMBScores: The Light Between Oceans, Morgan and Earlier From The Year

  7. Steven

    Is it just me (a amateur military historian) but weren’t those japanese soldiers and scenes appear to be in the tropics, and the takes place against the backdrop of the korean war?



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