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2.9 out of 5 stars
2.9 out of 5 stars
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on 23 August 2010
I haven't read the novel on which this film is based, but the stories about the length of time it took to make suggests that many in the industry did indeed consider it untranslatable to the screen.

Don't get put off, though, by the non-linear structure, the traumatic emotional heart of the film (Holocaust survival) or its undeniable strangeness - this is original, brave, and often beautiful.

Jeff Goldblum is great, portraying not just a man who is mad, but who uses these manic episodes as a way of dealing with his profound heartache. This chimes with the 1960s idealism of the institute, reflecting the era's infatuation with new developments in psychiatry.

There is a clear resemblance to On Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, but these similarities are, in the end, only incidental.

None of this is to say this film is perfect, but it earns five stars because of its bravery and ambition. Genuinely an original effort.
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VINE VOICEon 7 March 2012
Possible spoilers.

Adam Resurrected is a difficult film to watch as you see Jeff Goldblum's Adam, a once popular comedy performer in pre-war Berlin, reduced to the snivelling pet of Willem Dafoe's Commandant Klein. Adam - being seperated from his family in the concentration camp - is forced to crawl on all fours, begging Kleins affection and grace in the hope of saving his family from the gas chambers.

These disturbing and poignant scenes, shot in black and white and told in brief flashbacks throughout the film, are pivotal to the real story - Adam's inability to heal and return to society. He is haunted by the memories of his time as Klein's pet and has developed a strange sexual fetish in that he can only become aroused if his partner becomes a bitch on heat, yapping for his attention. Nurse Grey, stationed at the fictional desert bound psychiatric hospital in the desert of the middle east, indulges his fetish, having fallen in love with the charismatic Adam. Watching over this bizarre love affair (as well as the other patient's in the hospital) is Dr Nathan Gross (Derek Jacob), a manipulative string-puller who orchestrates a curious method of treatment for Adam in the shape of 'David, King of Dogs', locked away in an observation room, awaiting Adam's intervention.

This 2008 film has only just got a straight to DVD release in the UK (March 2012). The delay can only be attributed to the fact that this film is an incredibly hard sell. However, it received some excellent critical notices upon release in other countries and has some excellent performances. Goldblum and Dafoe are a magical pairing - I've not seen either actor as good in years (in fact, Dafoe seems to thrive in Paul Schrader films) and the story, though slightly convuluted, is strong and captivating. Does it work? I honestly don't know. It juggles drama, horror, comedy, fantasy and sexuality and never once drops a trick, but I don't think it will be to everybody's taste. It's not a war film. It's not a holocaust film. It's not even a film that offers glorious redemption, mercifully avoiding cliche and mawkish sentimental pay offs. It's a fascinating story about a man trying to piece himself back together after a series of crushing blows and humiliations (both during and after the war).

From the black and white music halls of 1930's Berlin, to the biblical desert bound ending (complete with burning bush and devil, straight out of the Schrader penned 'The Last Temptation of Christ') Adam Resurrected is a compelling and moving film. You will either connect with it or you won't. I, for one, found it an original, curious and affecting film.

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This is the story of Adam Stein (Jeff Goldblum), who was an entertainer, circus owner and cabaret artist in pre war Germany. He appears to have a sixth sense and special powers like mind reading, but chooses to use them for entertainment purposes, rather than any form of betterment. He is doing brilliantly until he is outed, as a Jew closed down and sent to a concentration camp. On arrival he is spotted by Commandant Klein (the always excellent Willem Dafoe). He has seen Adam perform and challenges him to entertain him and his dog.

After that episode he is kept and treated as a talking dog by Klein. His only respite being allowed to `entertain' fellow Jews on the way to the gas chambers - whilst his people burn, he plays the fiddle.

Years later in 1961he has been taken into an institution in Tel Aviv which caters for survivors of the Death Camps. It is run by a forward thinking doctor played by Derek Jakobi (Dr. Nathan Gross). He allows Adam a wide degree of latitude as he a genuine connection with his fellow patients (if that is the right word) and always has time to help them. Adam has been promised that no dog will ever be allowed onto the premises as the memories it could bring back are just too much. Then one day he hears a dog and that marks a change in everything.

This is a brilliantly acted and crafted film. Jeff Goldblum can often be a caricature of himself, however here he really puts in a great performance. The character of Adam is far from straight forward, apart from the physical side of the performance the emotional highs and lows would be a stretch for anyone. He pulls it off convincingly and with charm.

There are some painful scenes and some unusual ones, but this is actually done very tastefully. The past is told in flashback and filmed in black and white. It is expertly done and adds authenticity to the whole film. Whilst not always an easy watch it is full of screen moments that will have you feeling that you have missed something, sterling performances all round. If you are interested in the war and or great drama then this should be one that you would enjoy. Hard to compare to other films as this is dealing with the post traumatic effects, but it is a film that will undoubtedly stay with you.
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on 31 July 2014
Unfinished symphony. At last, a portrayal of the effects of long-term trauma. It is completely realistic in that respect, a human de-evolving to a canine (animal) state in an all out desperate attempt to prolong it's (his/her) existence. People with no experience (suffering or treating) of the effects of long-term trauma could find this film preposterous or too weird.


For me, the film progresses in quite a linear way, the flash-backs filling in the blanks as to how poor Adam HAD to fully embrace his canine persona to survive and finally to be able to cope with the ultimate betrayal (in his eyes) of his wife and daughter. When Adam connects with his perceived betrayal, part of him dies, his canine saviour. I can understand his primary carer introducing the dog-child (if I may call him that with the greatest of respect) in an attempt to save them both. To help the child Adam allows him to fully accept his canine persona, so opening the door to the child's humanity, while in parallel the roots of Adam's canine saviour is revealed. There is more to the film, which I won't go into, as it would take too long.

With only 2 hours to work with, the film is an abridged version only. The story needs more work to be complete, especially on a deeper understanding of the main protagonists. For any survivor of long-term trauma, I would think that this film could shed some light within their own inner darkness. In my opinion this is an important piece of work of a much misunderstood subject, that being the effects of severe, long-term trauma.

I applaud the insight of the people involved in the production of this unfinished symphony. An easy 5 stars.
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on 5 January 2015
Interesting to see the near-perfect distribution of Amazon reviews between "like" and "dislike". It makes me feel better as, despite I tried hard, I could not see the point of this movie. I can only congratulate with Jeff Goldbum for his acting skills that, however, remain pointless in the context.
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on 2 February 2015
I had a very basic idea of what this film would be like and I cannot say how wrong I was.It just goes to show that some great stars will do anything for the cash----sorry but that's how it comes over.I found the film to be silly to the point of boredom and the idea behind it dreadful.To be ordered to act like a dog throughout the stay in a camp,was even by my books,strange.We know some degrading,,unspeakable horrors and humiliations took place and dreadful they were too.But this idea just didn't do it for me at all.I am not a great fan of Jeff Goldlum BUT I am of Derek Jacobi,yet I am somewhat not suprised to find him doing something like this--sometimes he does produce some not-so-good efforts and this is one.Definitely'One Flew Over etc' basis to this film.Sorry--I was bored with a lot of it and so cannot recommend.
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The DVD arrived quite quickly.
The film was a good effort at addressing less talked about subjects, and I appreciated it's kind of 'arty' approach. However, there were moments whan I just thought 'what's going on?' and bits left me a little confused, or in some parts, a little disbelieving.
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on 19 March 2012
Sadly i turned it of after 40 turgid minutes.
I had been expecting more of a war film , but sadly it seemed about the mental problems that he was having since his release.
Very disappointing for me.
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on 25 March 2013
I didn't know what to expect when I bought this movie but gave it the benefit of the doubt. It's very strange and personally, it's one I will be reluctant to watch again.
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on 12 August 2015
A ridiculous story, hammy acting, and literally incredible historical flashbacks. I've rarely seen a worse film. Take a tip from me: mow your lawn instead of wasting two hours on this drivel.
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