This film was very interesting, not your typical sports drama. I usually don’t watch sports films, but when given the opportunity to pre-screen a film I can’t pass it up. This film was written and directed by Albert Dabah and it is loosely based on the actual events of his own life. The story follows the youngest boy in a family of four children that faces choosing between his devout Syrian Jewish family and a sport that he holds dear to his heart. I felt it was decently written, except for the subplot before the story transitions to his adulthood.
The subplot deals with his own acceptance of his challenged older brother that takes his own life. It starts off a little slow and you can’t really follow where the story is going at first other than a young boy that loves his family, but also loves baseball. As it turns out the stern father in this film is played by the writer and director himself, so he is basically playing his own father in the film.
As a young boy David had a gift for playing baseball, however his family lifestyle seemed to somehow prohibit it. His father was a devout Jewish man that wanted only the best for his family, so he made sure to raise them in the traditional Jewish fashion. However, with traditional religion can sometimes come an outpouring of rebellion or in this case self determination to be something other than what is presented to you. David wanted to play baseball and no matter what that’s what he was going to do. In the start of the film we get to see a small relationship develop with David and his older brother Morris who had been diagnosed with schizophrenia and pretty much became their well-kept family secret. Eventually as the story progresses Morris makes a connection with a housekeeper that his mother has hired to help her around the house. For whatever reason the mother Esther catches wind of this connection and it displeases her, so she lets the housekeeper go.
I’m not sure whether or not this is what causes Morris to take his own life, but that idea seems to be conveyed in the film during a sit-down for dinner. The family goes out the next night and leaves Morris alone in his room like they always have before, and sadly he takes his own life.
There is a funeral and David’s torn apart at 10 years old, but thankfully he still has the emotional support of his favorite sport and his sister Vivian to keep him positive. I don’t want to give this whole story away in this review, I will say this the story hits you a lot harder once you know about the history of writer and director Albert Dabah. I will post an article below this review so you can take a look, I recommend reading it after you watch the film. The acting wasn’t too bad, there were a couple scenes where you face palm yourself and say “Really?” I think Aidan Pierce Brennan did a great job as a young David and then Alex Walton really manages to bring it home playing the adult David, lots of raw emotion from both actors. Albert Dabah did a pretty good job himself playing his own father in the film, I do have to say Robby Ramos did really well as Morris and Mara Kassin nailed Vivian’s emotions pretty spot on.
Overall I give this film a 7 out of 10 rating, it was a good decent film and told a fantastic story that could maybe help raise awareness for suicide and mental health in the future. I would recommend the watch if you are a sports fan, or maybe have a hard time struggling with a religious life in your own home.
EXTRA INNINGS is now available on video-on-demand.
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