Der Kuchenmacher (The Cakemaker)
5th October 2017 9.00pm at Picturehouse Central
6th October 2017 12.45pm at empire
15th October 2017 3.45pm at Vue West End
As expected, The Cakemaker does feature some of the most mouthwatering creations to have appeared on the silver screen. But there is far more behind the title of this Israeli-German picture than the initial sweetness that meets the lingering eye. The passionate yearnings for the sweet pastries on screen are matched by the desires of the characters in a film that explores the liberation of oneself and the consequences that such freedom may bring.
The central protagonist is Thomas (Tim Kalkhof), a German baker living a life of solitude in Berlin. Little is explored of Thomas’s background before the entrance of an Israeli businessman sends sparks shooting around the bakery. Oren (Roy Miller) frequents the bakery on his monthly work escapades, and the two begin a long distance affair (as Oren is married). A few months pass with the pair enjoying each other’s company until one fateful day when the businessman is killed in a car accident. Stricken with grief, Thomas decides he must travel to Jerusalem to build a connection with his ex-lover’s family – perhaps to feel closer to the man he has lost. In the process, he gets to know Oren’s widow, Anat (Sarah Adler), and the two begin a journey of recovery and inner religious discovery.
Accompanied by the soft, dulcet tones of a piano, The Cakemaker is a sensitive study into the inner components of a relationship, told in a different way to the customary norm. Tim Kalkhof portrays a gentle and inquisitive character and the plot is intriguing enough to allow the cast to experiment in their attempts at delivery. The complex web of deceit and lies is clear for the audience to understand and follow, and the film is made ever more sensitive through the performance of Sarah Adler as Oren’s widow.
Onscreen chemistry between the actors helps to express the delicate content, it is just a shame that, unfortunately, the intertwining of these characters presents a number of unexplained plot holes. Why does Thomas really need to relocate to be close to his ex-lover’s family? What does he hope to achieve? What is his sexual orientation? All these questions, and more, are left to the interpretation of the audience, but although they may not affect the fluidity of the film, their answers would add a desired amount of flesh to the bone. One wonders why director Ofir Raul Grazier wished to present an unexplored character finding himself in an unexplored scenario, in an unexplored city, when a little more detail is required.
Der Kuchenmacher (The Cakemaker) does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews and interviews from our London Film Festival 2017 coverage here.
For further information about the festival visit the official BFI website here.
Watch the trailer for Der Kuchenmacher (The Cakemaker) here: