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Reviews & Ratings for
Underground More at IMDbPro »

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A true masterpiece of true art.

Author: Plevrakis Theophilos ( from Thessaloniki, Greece
22 July 2000

One of the best movies ever made!! I personally regard "Underground" as a movie that is as close to perfection as it can get. It is defining the meaning of "expressing oneself through art". A movie with a dense context, brilliant shooting, that keeps you hanging on the edge of your seat for two hours.

Unfortunately no matter how i liked that film, people originating from countries out of the Balkans, and mostly from the United States, probably will not appreciate it, as they might fail to understand the movie, lacking the background of the political history of the Balkans.

I personally would advise anyone that belongs to the above category, to focus on that movie, learn things that will help him understand it, and i guarantee that he will benefit from the whole procedure.

It is the chance to truly communicate with the creator/artist and give substance to what is said about art "cultivating people".

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

moving movie, respectable nation

Author: weidongj ( from shanghai, china
4 June 1999

Underground can capture your most sensitive part, familiar with Kurosawa's red beard. The comedy element make me think of Chaplin's work. Underground give me a chance to understand Yugoslavia and deeply symphony this nation. It's respectable,like Czech and hungarian,puny but filled with wisdom and strong character. The end scene of the film is unforgettable. Kusturica's work really embody the great meaning of the movie.

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3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A controversial film is a great film !!

Author: igor-28 from Amsterdam
15 May 1999

"Once upon a time there was a country...".

The subtitle refers of course to Sergio Leone's nostalgic masterpiece "Once upon a time in America". Kusturicas epic has a lot of this operatic and nostalgic moods, which are so significant for Leones movie. Both movies seem to thematize the tragic loss of ideals and the loss of a certain concept of national identity.

But Underground has a lot more than Leones film considering its masterful play with metaphors and fictional realities, in which the protagonists are caught up in. The dystopian metaphor of the underground, the film within a film sequence, the imaginary island at the end of the film, they all suggest an interpretation of yugoslavian history that is far more sophisticated than the interpretations you find in all those recent books about the break-up of this country.

Communist Yugoslavia was a country that was based on lies and deceptions, is what the film suggests, lead by the arbitrary despotism of some tyrants, that manipulated reality and history. At the end there is a total despair and loss of reality. The Serbs still think they fight against fascists- now its the NATO.

Maybe Kusturica was right, when he suggested with Underground, that the people were kept for years in an anachronism and that this deception lead into the break-up of the country. I think one can not think about this film without speaking about the Serbs and there current situation.

The film is of course ambivalent and controversial, but isn't it exactly this characteristic which makes out of a good film a great one?

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4 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

The story that never ends...

Author: talkshowhost7 from Portugal
13 November 2006

A truly wonderful film! It is a non-English speaking film with as much quality and a lot of originality and creativity.

It's about the life of two best friends and everyone related to them during the World War 2. From extreme situations with extreme resolutions, you can see it all: comedy, drama, romance, crime, love, war, satire...

Although I believe the acting is a bit over the top, this can be related to the fact the movie has a different culture behind it and it attempts to be a little surrealistic, I suppose.

The movie strongest characteristic of them all is its fantastic script. It has an exceptional plot with all kind of plot twists in-between. You get attached to the characters in a different way and as the adventure goes on you keep getting surprised with what comes up next.

One detail I enjoyed specially was the band accompanying the characters along the way, providing the soundtrack in a different and very interesting manner.

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5 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Once upon a time there was a country…

Author: lastliberal from United States
22 June 2008

How about a musical Sunday? I started out with this surreal Palme d'Or winner from the Cannes Film Festival by Emir Kusturica. Taking us through WWII, The Communist regime, and the Bosnian War, it is an allegory about lies.

Slapstick and politics. Quite a combination, but in this case it works magnificently. The low brow humor and the gypsy music combine with a statement about a country that cut its people off from the rest of the world for 45 years. Just like Marko did to Blacky, the people were kept underground, oblivious to the changes in the world.

The acting was superb, and the continuous gypsy music underscored a great tragedy.

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6 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

A numb theatrical ride in an another world.

Author: Pekka from Finland
3 August 2009

Underground is certainly a unique piece of film-making. It explores history of Yugoslavia from WWII to early 90s.

The film is through its long runtime a surreal fairytale filled with absurd and dreamlike scenes. Because of its unrealistic characters and events the film lacks compassion. Caring for the characters seems impossible regardless of the horrible events they have to go through. The Film is like numb theatrical ride in an another world.

Though the film has some unforgettable scenes. Directing and cinematography are both great and the actors deliver their roles with remarkable passion. I just don't think the comedic script can provide enough laughs about war to be worth it.

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0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Three hours of pure weird story

Author: Johan Dondokambey from Indonesia
13 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As a war-comedy movie, the movie did more than just achieving its original goal of showing a depiction of war and making people laugh at the same time. I think the movie, using its long duration at its best, really exerts control on what the audience feel when seeing it. This movie can be very funny when it is in the comedic scenes; with very black comedic satire laughing at the hypocrisy of war. But it can also be stoic and ironic when it shows the scenes of war tearing a country apart. It can reach the sorrowful depths, as when the movie shows Ivan looking for Soni, or when Crni looks at the burning wheelchair. The acting is quite nice, although I think that the movie lacks so much in story telling, possibly due to overly extensive editing.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Yugoslavia at its Strangest

Author: gavin6942 from United States
5 June 2015

The story follows an underground weapons manufacturer in Belgrade during WWII and evolves into fairly surreal situations. A black marketeer who smuggles the weapons to partisans doesn't mention to the workers that the war is over, and they keep producing. Years later, they break out of their underground "shelter" --- only to convince themselves that the war is still going on.

I know very little about Yugoslavian film, or Serbian film or any other film industry of the region. But this is some great satire here, with the sensibility of Luis Bunuel or those fine folks who made "Delicatessen" and "Amelie" (drawing a blank on their names, sorry). Who knew that war could be funny? This is the sort of war comedy that "Life is Beautiful" could only dream of being.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A weird but fascinating film with an excellent point

Author: bjork-bjork from Portland, OR
22 February 2000

This is a strange film, with strange music and a different kind of acting from what we are used to in the US. It is an analogy in the form of a clever story that sometimes gets too far out for itself. You think about it a lot for a long time afterward, and the music echos in your mind.

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2 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

for those who said that "Underground" is awful movie

Author: Milos Todorovic ( from Belgrade, Serbia, Yugoslavia
20 February 2000

1) this movie is masterpiece

2) "Underground" is kind of hard for understanding for people which aren't from Balkan

3) after the movie premiere, there was absolute silence, with no single sound... That explains much... Nobody was able to speak...

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