Disobedience [2018] ★★★

To describe “Disobedience” purely as a lesbian drama is to miss the point. This is a devastating story of love, that happens to take place in an “obedient” society. When the movie opens, we are welcomed with a speech by a rabbi, talking about angels, beasts, and, ironically, freedom of choice. It’s a gripping speech, and the hook that will lead you into this mesmerizing drama. Rachel Weisz ignites the screen as the daughter of the rabbi, who returns home following his death. We learn that she was somehow “disowned” by this society for having a love affair with another woman (Rachel McAdams) many years ago. The two eventually meet again, and their passion is aroused once again. The confident Weisz and the shy McAdams (now married to a man) seem to have little in common, but you can tell heir love is mutual and deep-rooted. Although the film takes place in modern-day England, director Sebastian Lelio doesn’t miss a chance to remind us that obedient societies still exist, and such matters are not to be discussed in public. This allows us to root for these characters even more, especially when things get even more complicated. As their story unfold, we feel their pain and anguish, which gives the movie its much needed emotional impact. “Disobedience” flows at a deliberately slow pace, which means it won’t appeal to everyone, but if you’re a patient viewer, you’d want to savor every moment of this rewarding piece of work.

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