Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Milena Dravic, Branko Cvejic, Boris Komnenic, Gorica Popovic, Matija Prskalo
Director: Srdjan Karanovic
Genres: Indie & Art House
It is 1995 post war Croatia and handsome, lonely Labud misses his girlfriend Vida, when the lovers were separated during the Balkins war. He hopes to reunite with her, but knows the chances are such that they never will. A... more »
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Adorable Romantic Comedy in an Unlikely Atmosphere ...
Erika Borsos | Gulf Coast of FL, USA | 12/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The screen writer and director of this film provide great insights as to how the human spirit can transcend the destruction and pain of war via satire and comedy. Labud ("Swan") is a lonely young man who was displaced by the 1990s Balkan War to Belgrade. He lives in a shelter and works odd jobs to make ends meet. He wants to reconnect with his old flame a hairdresser by trade named Vida who managed to escape to Chicago after the war. Swan tries meeting girls in the city but most ignore him. His last hope is to use a computer dating service, Happy Millenium. He provides the requested details and views videos of close matches with plans to arrange a rendevous. At the Happy Millenium office, Swan makes eye contact with a lovely pretty girl named Romana, a client around his age. The receptionist discourages such a face-to-face meeting stating, it is best to meet anonymously with clients who meet the strict criteria set up by the computer.
When Swan is working and walking around Belgrade, he believes he sees Vida but convinces himself it is impossible since she is in Chicago. Some of the most creative, serious and comedic touches in this film are the many imaginery conversations with the ghosts of his mother and old school professor who advise and admonish him during his search for love. Swan tries to legally leave Belgrade to visit Chicago but there are numerous obstacles in his way. Amazingly, Vida really *is* in Belgrade with the same goal: to revive their old love, the problem is she can not locate him. In a desperate attempt, she leaves a note on a "missing persons" bulletin board not knowing she narrowly missed running into him.
During a computer-match rendevous, Swan visits the predetermined location but makes a fast escape after recognizing an older woman whom he did not like at all on one of the videos. Later that day, he returns to the site only to find Romana standing there, he remembers her from the dating service office. They hit it off as she takes him to cool hang outs in the city and uses the most current Belgrade slang. After their date, Swan follows her one night only to discover she is not what she seems. They have a heart-to-heart talk about the Balkan War and their life circumstances. Another surprising twist in the film is that Romana also has ghostly advisers, her sister, her father, an old lover and various other relatives who comment on her activities and provide a list of "dos"and "don'ts" in a relationship. This film is a huge success based on this highly original technique which shows what a major impact the war has had on the lives of individuals. The use of ghostly interventions is both serious and funny during different scenes. It visually represents how caring relationships although severed by death remain a part of one's consciousness and continue to affect the living.
The film comes to a climax when the Happy Millenium group takes an excursion to a seaside resort. The least expected couples intermingle and the antics are laughing out loud funny. The leader of the Happy Millenium group tries to professionally control the situation with amusing results. The ghostly interference on both sides leads to some complications in the budding relationship between Swan and Romana. I will leave the reader to ponder, did Swan end up with Romana, Vida, someone else, or did he choose to remain alone. Rest assured, the film does a terrific wind-up ending, tying up all the loose ends into a very satisfying finish for everyone involved. Along the way, one discovers some fascinating bits of "family secrets" as the ghostly visitors reminisce about their past. This is one outstanding film. It will impress anyone who loves romantic comedy which mixes cultural differences within a surreal atmosphere. Erika Borsos (pepper flower)"
Imaginative, Literary Romantic Comedy--a first class effort
Robert Nagle | Houston, TX United States | 12/04/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"first-class effort by Radivoje Andric, a young Serb director about couples in love during the Yugoslav conflict. At times sentimental, the story and incidents are original, imaginative and the characters are great too. A Serb intellectual who lives a desolate life as a political refugee in Belgrade misses his girlfriend who has emigrated to America. He imagines that his girlfriend is with her to keep him company, and then he imagines a whole cast of people from his past to keep him company during his homeless wanderings through Belgrade. We're never quite sure of how deluded he is; does the girl really exist? Are they really engaged? Then he meets a girl-a real girl-not an imaginary one- who forces him to deal with his realities and make choices. This film-which took a long time to be made because of the Yugoslavia conflict-doesn't get bogged down in politics-but it shows the effects of these events on ordinary people. Too bad it couldn't have been released (for example) in 1999 to give Americans a glimpse of Yugoslavs as a people not merely as a patchwork of ethnic tribes at war with one another. The settings and situations are bleak, but the people are charming, a mixture of the old-fashioned and hip. Don't miss the "computerized dating service" scenes and the matchmaker-they are great fun, if not a little sad. The female lead, Ivana Bolanca is charming and mysterious and vulnerable. Senad Alihodzic, the male lead is thoughtful, happy-go-lucky and bursting with poetry and optimism. I found myself wishing the scenes with imaginary characters could be shortened a bit, and that Ivan Bolanca's character could be fleshed out a bit-she too seemed like a mere romantic projection sometimes. Still, America needs more dreamers like Radivoje Andric to make movies."
Loving Glances Backwards And Forwards
One More Option | USA | 03/24/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I can't say I really liked this film, but at the same time I can encourage others who are curious about it to rent it. It is the story of a young man and woman who are looking for each other, and who are developing other romantic relationships at the same time.
The type of comedy in this film did not often make me laugh, but the film might be very funny to other people. The movie's storytelling device of adding new spirits (people from the main character's pasts) as literal observers to their travels is interesting, but (for me) became overused, cumbersome, and contrived (imagine a Shakespeare play with 5 or 6 Falstaff-like men and women regularly commenting about each move made by Romeo & Juliet). There's a time and place for wit, but it's arguably overbearing here. But my critique may be misplaced, given that the intent of this film is to be a comedy about the luggage we all carry forward with us from the people we have been close to in our pasts.
But the ending scenes in this film are excellent. They are strong, poignant, and hopeful. The movie deals with the nearly universal issue of choosing spouses while still loving significant others from our past. And on those notes, it appears to speak with practical experience, wisdom, and loving consideration."