DVD Review: Broken Hallelujah

DVD Review: Broken Hallelujah

Based on real-life events, three people struggle through relationships and life, but what get’s them through is Leonard Cohen’s song, Hallelujah.


Three loves, three lies, one chance.

Director Alastair Riddell and writer Vanessa Riddell have created a movie that is as beautiful as a work of art and flows like music, albeit with one or two jarring moments.

It is based on real-life events – a friend of the writer’s went through some of these experiences and the song that got them through it was Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah.

We start out seeing Gary and his family and what happens when his gambling addiction comes to light. Next, is Francis, who cannot accept that his partner has moved on. And finally, we see Lex, who is determined to win the annual award for best real estate agent.

Vanessa Riddell also stars as Kirsty, Gary’s ex-partner, and she is so very real in her search for a new life away from threats and money problems that Gary’s addiction brought. She is uncertain, makes mistakes and, as in real life, bad things sometimes happen to good people. Also as in real life, we cannot predict exactly what will happen in the end.

It isn’t always an easy watch, in particular there is a scene with a car accident involving Kirsty’s daughter. The film is also long, at just over 2 hours, but definitely worth it. It is billed to appeal to those who liked Whale Rider and, yes, it is another outstanding film from New Zealand which deserves to stand in its own right as a film about families, relationships and all of the things in between.

Reviewed by Michelle Baylis

Rating out of 10:  8

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