Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Завет – Zavet (Promise Me This)

This comedy by Emir Kusturica is a happy movie that tells a simple story about a grandfather that asks his grandson to go to city, sell the cow, buy an icon for the Church and find a wife; but of course the comic story is told in a very Kusturica and east Europe comedies style that to many eyes may seem exaggerated and silly non-funny slapstick comedy, but no surprise for many, I just love it!

I have seen a few east Europe comedies and I believe that they are in category of their own, as do not resemble American or western European countries comedies; these are very different, perhaps more simple funny sketches, lots of silly fast music and a very fast pace if you compare them to regular European movies.

This is the kind of movie that you do not have to take seriously even when the production values are excellent with impeccable cinematography, many scenes with great framing, and extremely good actor performances with excellent comic timing; as even when Kusturica plays with the funny side, he does with very good European cinema tech specs and in great style as the movie has many scenes of magic realism.

The movie was screened at 2007 Cannes in competition and if you read most English critics you’ll find that they dismiss the movie and hardly understand why was nominated; but, if you read European critics then you find that most acknowledge the cold reception this movie had at Cannes and do not understand it as that they liked the movie a lot.

Yes I do believe that Cannes is not a good place for comedies, but I'm pleasantly surprised to find that Kusturica Cannes film was a comedy, as his comedies are very human, full of life, crazy-stylish and very ‘rococo’ as one French critic says and I finally found a word to aproximately describe Kusturica’s comedy style.

Absolutely not for all audiences, you have to like east Europe comedies to really enjoy this crazy-happy movie that when it was over I was feeling extremely happy, as the happy ending the movie has. Perhaps some of you readers would like to give a try if you have never seen an east Europe comedy and if you do, I suggest you try to be very open minded to new ways of seeing old-fashion comedy and perhaps you will enjoy it and laugh as much as I did.


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