THE PAWNBROKER is an anxious drama about a man who lives, without emotion and compassion, in his bitter past and a brutal present. It is based on the novel of the same name by Edward Lewis Wallant. One man, who has survived the Holocaust, wanders between two realities, and constantly pushes people around him.
Sol Nazerman, a German-Jewish university professor, works as a pawnbroker in East Harlem, while living in an anonymous Long Island apartment. He has survived imprisonment in a Nazi concentration camp, while his wife and family did not. He works hard and cynically watches the people around him. The devastating experience and unrelenting memories inhibit Sol from emotional involvement with life. His pawn shop is the perfect cover for a local racketeer...
The topics related to alienation, loneliness and inability to adjust give a disturbing tone to this melodrama. The main protagonist is a deeply traumatized, intellectually exhausted, and emotionally damaged person. Every event in his life, wakes a painful and disturbing memories. He is completely lost in his inner anxious struggle between two worlds. However, his pictures of the past is covered by a burden of the present. He is finally awake and able to accept a guilt and shame for his daily actions towards other people. The point is reflected in the abuse, the horrors of concentration camps and the life of the middle class around New York.
The atmosphere is eerie and sexually exhausted, characterization is very good, and the sound emphasizes a kind of disorder in society.
Rod Steiger as Sol Nazerman is a man who is a prisoner of his own past, bitterness and cynicism. Mr. Steiger has showed the great versatility of a troubled and broken character.
His support are Geraldine Fitzgerald (Marilyn Birchfield) as a social worker who, in a clumsy and spontaneous way, tries to attract an alienated gentleman in her life, Jaime Sánchez (Jesus Ortiz) as Sol's assistant and a young man on a verge of criminality and Brock Peters (Rodriguez) as a believable and brutal crime boss.
This is a strong and convincing work, no matter what the intensity of the story depends on Steiger's excellent performance and some nudity.
Action / Drama
Action / Drama
In a poor neighborhood of New York, the bitter and lonely Jewish pawnbroker Sol Nazerman is a survivor from Auschwitz that has no emotions or feelings. Sol lost his dearest family and friends in the war and his faith in God and belief in mankind. Now he only cares for money and is haunted by daydreams, actually flashbacks from the period of the concentration camp. Sol's assistant is the ambitious Latino Jesus Ortiz, who wants to learn with Sol how to run a business of his own. When Sol realizes that the obscure laundry business he has with the powerful gangster Rodriguez comes also from brothels, Sol recalls the fate of his beloved wife in the concentration camp and has a nervous breakdown. His attitude leads Jesus Ortiz to tragedy and Sol finds a way to cry.
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May 05, 2014 at 08:44 PM