Abulele (2015) is the story of Adam, a 10-year-old boy who is struggling to coop with the death of his old brother a year prior. Everything changes for him when he meets Abulele, an ancient monster that is hiding in the basement of his apartment building. Local legends have always spoken negatively of the creature saying that he is extremely dangerous. Adam soon realizes that the bear-sized Abulele is actually a friendly, playful, and misunderstood creature. When a special-forces government team shows up to try and capture the creature, Adam, with the help of his 10-year-old neighbor, Tamar, must help hide the monster until they can help him find his way home.
Abulele is a film that greatly surprised me on many levels. Going into the screening, I had heard that it had been made with a total production budget comparable to the average Hollywood films catering budget. After hearing this, I was expecting to see something very low quality, but WOW was I wrong to assume that. The quality of this film is incredible and I am extremely impressed with what the director, Jonathan Geva, was able to accomplish with such a low budget. Everything from the story, to the performances, to the effects, and the score were on par with a big budget Hollywood film. Yoav Sadian, who plays Adam, and Bar Minali, who plays Tamar, both provided excellent, top-notch performances which resulted in a lot of depth and emotion to both of their characters.
In my post-screening research, I was unable to determine if the Abulele monster was done using special effects or a combination of practical and special effects. My guess is that it is the later, as the monster's body appeared to be a suit with an actor in it, but the face seems to be post production effects. Either way, the final result was wonderful, and I very much enjoyed the monsters physical appearance and his wide range of emotional facial expressions.
During the introduction of the film, the speaker mentioned that the score was, in fact, a traditional full orchestra score that was written and performed for the movie by a London-based orchestra company. The film has a very magical and whimsical feel to it, and I contribute much of that to the phenomenal score.
Abulele (2015) reminded me very much of a modern-day E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). It is a very magical and heartwarming film that will entertain both children and adults alike. I hope to see a US release for movie soon as I would love to show it to my, soon to arrive, son as soon as he can handle the subtitles. I give Abulele an 8 out of 10.