DVD: The Trotsky

The Trotsky is pretty much your basic high school movie, except it’s about communism. Our hero is young Leon Bronstein, a Canadian kid who believes he is the reincarnation of Leon Trotsky because he shares both his first name and his ideals. He’s planned out his whole life to mirror that of the famous Trotsky and now he just needs his own revolution. He finds cause in the oppressive administration and arbitrary rules of his public school. There you have a plot. Will his revolution succeed? Will he fulfill his destiny? Will anyone ever take him seriously?

Though this movie was presented by Tribeca Films, it actually has a pretty broad appeal. The Trotsky has the story arc of a classic teen comedy, but the humor is a bit more sophisticated and deals with the alienation of the working class. There’s still romance, conflict, and personal growth though. Also, even though communists might not be known for their sense of humor, this is still a pretty funny movie. The “Social Justice”-themed school dance is particularly hilarious. 
The title character is played by Jay Baruchel whom you may recognize from Knocked Up or Tropic Thunder. In those movies he’s just a supporting character though. Here, he’s the leading man and he does a bang-up job, which reminds me a little of when he starred in the short-lived series Undeclared. Like his character on the show, Leon is awkward and strange, but lovable. Let’s face it, Baruchel will never be a hunky star like Brad Pitt but he has an appeal to him that you can’t help but root for. You don’t need to be a commie to like Leon or this movie, but having an open mind and some intellect does help. So see it before Bill O’Reilly tries to get it banned.

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