Unassuming Emotional Depth
Snoogans - wrote on 08/26/16
'Indignation' is a small period drama with unassuming depth. The first two scenes show two seemingly unrelated occurrences in different times, while voiceover from our main character tells of things lost. We then start on the most transitionary point in his young life; leaving home for college. We see the overbearing protective nature of his mother and (mostly) father, the funeral for a boy of the same age who died in the Korean war, and his severe longing to be away from it all. A big part of moving far away to attend higher learning is to avoid the draft for said war. He has a hard time adjusting to the new people and new rules of this particular school. His reasonings in counteracting those around him are justified through his intellect and headstrong qualities. This creates a big clash with the Dean of the school, which leads to two excellent intense conversations. However, the one thing that contributes most to his change in behavior is the immense desire he has for a female student. Her deeply troubled past is a hindrance on their relationship. I felt so emotionally engaged in their slow-build of romance. The attachment becomes stronger as the film progresses. I was surprised by how compelling I found the whole affair to be by the end, because of how standard and unassuming things started off. This whole film has the distinct quality of playing out naturally as if you were reading the novel in which it is based. It's an indescribable quality that I've only felt a couple of other times with certain films. The closer reverts back to the first two scenes, but with a brand new realization of harsh realities. I was not prepared for the lasting emotional effect it gave me all of a sudden. Quite the depressing conundrum.