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  • Writer's pictureStrictly Films

An American Pickle; It’s Best to Lend a Helping Hand, Than Tearing Each Other Apart. Grade: C+

An American Pickle tells a story about a Jewish Immigrant Herschel (Seth Rogen), whom worked at a pickle factory in Brooklyn in 1919. Herschel accidentally fell into this large wooden pool, in which consists of pickles being brine. Thanks to the brine, Herschel was able to survive as he finally has been released thanks to a drone flying into the wooden pool. Herschel has nobody as his wife, son, and grandson have all passed. Fortunately for Herschel he does have a great grandson Ben (Seth Rogen), whom develops an app. Herschel then reunites with Ben, has he discovers the history of their family, while also discovering the dramatic amount of change our world has made over a century.

The Cinematography was fine. Of course the beginning portion of this film was the highlight visually speaking, as it looked very authentic towards those times. Afterwards the film still maintains a fair amount of style, however doesn’t capture the magic of the beginning portion. The Score was fine, nothing special nor worth talking about. The cast all in all was fine as well. Seth Rogen plays two characters, as I can honestly say I was however surprised he tries something different with his acting this time around. Of course Seth Rogen acts like Seth Rogen when he plays the character Ben, but at least he’s trying something different with Herschel. From a performance standpoint I’d say he was fairly decent. I think the script and how Seth Rogen portrays a man from a different century was fairly done, as I can believe the mind and actions of this character’s difficulty in understanding today’s world. As far as characters I’m leaning towards Herschel over Ben. Herschel loves the idea of family, hard work, he’s honest, and takes pride in things he owns. Herschel comes from a different century, as the way people think and what they believed in were extremely different compared to today’s world. So it’s understandable for Herschel to think extremely different than us, as he tends to struggle immensely with how today’s world is structured.

Ben on the other hand is basically the antagonist of this film. We understand Ben’s frustration as Herschel cost him a deal regarding his app, as Herschel led Ben’s arrest due to Herschel taking pride for his passed wife’s burial sight. But why does Ben have to do everything in his power, to sabotage this man’s way in succeeding?! Ben is just a modern day prick: Fail to understand differences, fail to forgive, fail to love. Sure Herschel may not be perfect as his views are troubling, but the thing is Ben and Herschel share something in common: They’re both not perfect. So instead of beating Herschel to a pulp, how about trying to help Herschel instead?!

An American Pickle was originally supposed to be released in theaters, however decided to go straight to HBO Max instead. I felt the move was honestly smart, as a film like this would FLOP! I’ve been throwing the word “fine” around in this review, as you’re going to hear it once again what I thought about this film... It’s fine.

The story as a whole is extremely silly, yet fairly engaging from start to finish. The concept of this man being able to survive one hundred years in this brine, is not believable for one second. It feels reminiscent to the Martin Luther King episode in The Boondocks. The way this story is designed, is basically mocking out modern day society as how toxic and troubling it is. All younger generations do now a days is just disrespect older generations, just like how Ben disrespects Herschel. Younger generations are failures in forgiving, understanding, and lending help to those who seem to struggle comprehending with today’s world. Sure you’ll have those too stubborn to change, but sometimes like Herschel they seem dumb founded as they can’t understand anything that is going on, as surely with time and effort Herschel will be able to understand clearly. I like how this film mocks out modern day news outlets and blogs, as it’s over exaggerated nonsense.

The humor in this film is hit or miss for me, so I guess we’ll throw in the word “fine” once again. There are a few laugh out moments, I especially enjoyed the Kanye joke in this. Some of the humor just doesn’t work for me, as I just tend to move along with the story without laughing at the joke. It’s a film that is silly by nature, however charming and has something to say. It brings light that we should all try to work together as a team, so we can live in peace and harmony, rather than tearing each other down.

Overall, An American Pickle is an enjoyably average movie. I recommend checking this one out on HBO Max, it’s a relaxing time on your couch or bed side whichever setting you choose. -Mitch Smietana

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