From Sebastián Lelio, the director of the Academy Award-winning A Fantastic Woman, the film follows a woman as she returns to the community that shunned her decades earlier for an attraction to a childhood friend. Once back, their passions reignite as they explore the boundaries of faith and sexuality. Written by Lelio and Rebecca Lenkiewicz and based on Naomi Alderman’s book, the film stars Rachel Weisz, Rachel McAdams and Alessandro Nivola.
Lelio follows up his critically acclaimed A Fantastic Woman with the profound Disobedience, a character piece that dedicates time to fleshing out the complex characters of Ronit (Weisz) and Esti (McAdams). There’s a bleakness to the film that helps to accentuate the subdued performances from Weisz, McAdams and Nivola. Often feelings are felt not through dialogue but by contemplative glances that send shivers down the back.
All these years later Ronit returns home where she instantly feels judged by family and friends. Throughout the film she questions her morals as her decisions may impact those around her. Esti keeps her lips sealed, restraining her thoughts and living her routine life. Eventually the chemistry between the two of them Is enough to tip the scale as they rekindle the love they once had for one another.
Disobedience is a heartbreaking story about forbidden love and the consequences the characters face. Lelio proves he has a pulse on this story as we both empathize and sympathize with these characters. The pain, the suffering, the grief , we feel it all. The film doesn’t try to put the characters on a pedestal, instead exploring the decisions made and the repercussions they may carry.