I like me a serious dose of crazy with my films. Maybe, shall we say, even CRAZY with a side of film? But Big Bad Wolves, the 2013 Israeli film was even a little much for me. I just shut it off and I’m still unsure of what I just watched. Gracious. But I’m betting there are some of you that missed a few of the key details that happened… because I know I did. And I had to scrub back through the movie a few times in order to realize exactly what had happened. So, shall we? Let’s do this – Is there a reasonable Big Bad Wolves Explanation? Let’s find out shall we?
Last chance – spoilers will spill forth momentarily. Although, I won’t hold it against you for passing on this one. But the discussion might be interesting all the same. If you want to check it out Watch it right here.
Big Bad Wolves Quick Walkthough
This is going to be comparatively fast. It’s a simple story. A pedophile serial killer is seen by a girl, and she tells the cops that he is the one murdering girls in town. So a few cops go and pick him up and begin interrogating him. Eventually though their boss tells them to cut it out, drops him back off at home, and pays him for his busted bike. But then Micki, the head of the investigation is fired and told he’s more than welcome to investigate the guy as a private citizen as long as he isn’t caught. Well, Gidi, the father of the most recent girl who was killed, also decides to take matters into his own hands.
Long story short – When Micki is about to abduct Dror, he is abducted along side Dror, by Gidi. Got it? So we have the murdered girl’s father Gidi, who is out for revenge. Also, we have Micki, the fired policeman who wants to find the most recent murdered girl’s head. And then there is Dror, the suspected murderer. Got it? Micki chooses to help Rami in getting the man to talk. But soon doubts that Dror is guilty. And when Gidi’s father shows up at the house in order to check in on his “sick” son, he volunteers to help out in the interrogation efforts. But when Dror tells the grieving father a lie about where the head is buried in order to get him to stop torturing him, he leaves to go dig up his daughter’s head. But it isn’t there.
Meanwhile, back at the house, Gidi’s father has some cake. Which is problematic since it was drugged by his son for the supposed murderer. And Micki takes the opportunity to run for it, leaving Dror behind. When he gets to a cell phone, he calls home only to find out that his daughter too had been abducted. Fearing the worst, Micki hauls it back to the basement where only moments before he was worried for his life. But now? More important things swung in the balance, like his missing daughter. Could he possibly get back in time before Dror is murdered in the basement. And sure enough, as he arrives, there is Gidi, taking a hacksaw to Dror’s neck! But he stops him in time to ask him where his daughter is…and even fetch him a pen and paper in the hopes that he’d scribble his daughter’s location.
But he doesn’t. He dies right in front of them. Leaving them all hanging. And there is your movie ending. Done. Wait WHAT? OK, sure, there was one little, very small detail left. We’ll get to that in time though. Just stop for a second.
Deeper Thoughts on Big Bad Wolves
Let’s go back to the beginning. Generally speaking, if one plans to torture another human being to death, one should probably have a bit of evidence before hand. Right? I mean, a bit anyway? As I mentioned, the one tidbit of evidence at the outset was the testimony of the girl who was there playing at the beginning. Now, no offense to said little girl, but! If that is all the evidence you have… and a man’s life swings in the balance? That seems unfair by a large stretch. Doesn’t it? Sort of feels like America during our tendency to lynch people of color on whims and a rumor.
This thought burrowed into my brain throughout the duration of the film. While Dror was tied to the chair. While his toes were being painfully sliced off. While he was having a blowtorch applied to his chest. His fingers were being broken. His face being cut. It was extraordinary really. So much so that I thought that maybe we’d enter a Kafkaian world or maybe tripped into a Camus underworld and hadn’t been told. Maybe Kafka’s Trial, or Camus’ The Stranger? A story of an immoral injustice from the presumption on – all the way through to his untimely death. Except for the ending bit I haven’t mention yet.
Which was this – after Dror’s death, the head of the police investigation visits Dror’s home and searches for any evidence of child murder or molestation. But, finding nothing, he closes up shop and heads out. But as the movie ends, the camera slides behind a secret door and reveals the dead ballet dancer. Ah. Interesting. So Dror is our child murderer after all. Huh. Wait, what’d I miss?
The Things I Initially Missed
I think there is an implicit twist here that this movie is attempting to pull off – but it might just be a bit too clever for its own good.
During my first watching, I was certain Dror was not only innocent, but that he would be vindicated. Which made me suspect Micki all along. In retrospect though we are given a lot to prove what has really been happening all along.
- During the first interrogation we learn that Dror was witnessed by a girl prior to the abduction.
- After being released the first time, Dror hangs his bike on a wall – but that wall is actually a secret door to a secret hidden room.
- Now, just before Dror is abducted again, he’s returning home after walking the dog. We see him placing a bag in the trash before talking to Micki. That bag is Gidi’s daughter’s head. Which, is the subject of their questions throughout the rest of the film.
- Soon after we witness Dror who is watching the ballet class, and pining for his daughters. We assume that she is one of the girls in the class.
- But he isn’t – this cake in his hands is a drug-laced birthday cake intended for Micki’s daughter who is in the class.
- When Gidi went to dig up his daughter’s head, I knew it couldn’t be him.
- And when Micki found out his daughter was missing, I realized it couldn’t be him. So unless it was Gidi’s father?? It had to be Dror even in spite of the Kafkaesque lead in.
But there is one scene that actually re-frames the entire movie. Remember the scene I mentioned in point 4 above. Dror has a cake – laced with drugs as he’s staring in at the ballet dancers. Then we cut to Gidi and his bolted down restraint chair. And then there is Micki and his stun gun. Did you notice the title of the film? The most obvious title would be The Big Bad Wolf. But that isn’t what this movie is called. Its called, The Big Bad Wolves. Plural. Wolves. Huh? The movie isn’t specifically about Dror… who we learn is a horrible human being and needs to be banished from the planet as quickly as possible. But rather, it’s about Dror, Micki, Gidi, and even Gidi’s father. These are our wolves. All of them horrible individuals. Yes, father’s scorned by way of their daughter’s deaths are terrible things to be behold. But maybe there would have been a better way to handle this situation than terrorizing Dror via vile torments until he was dead? Maybe?
Is There a Reasonable Big Bad Wolves Explanation??
The movie, at first, seems to be about unjust revenge. But when we learn that Dror actually did murder girls horrifically, we learn that it must be something else. And that is when we realize that this movie is about the terrible things that this life can bring us to. Whether we are talking about Drors, or various daughters’ avengers… this movie is an investigation into just how deep we can sink despite the atrocities committed. Maybe we should rethink our tendencies for revenge? God does say that vengeance is his after all. Or we could just keep on killing. Whatever.
Interested in a few other movies in this same wheelhouse?
Edited by: CY