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Kolja
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Reviews & Ratings for
Kolya More at IMDbPro »Kolja (original title)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Could this possibly be the cutest thing ever made?

9/10
Author: dead_parrot from Canada
7 December 2003

All I can say about "Kolya" is: nice. Very nice. This is sort of the Czech version of "Big Daddy"--only better. This movie is so bloody adorable, I recommend it to everyone who likes foreign stuff and wants to have fun, fun, fun and gain a bit of knowledge of Czech movies.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Watch this movie if you are looking for some thoughtful, calm and light-hearted entertainment

Author: mayur_goyal (mayur_goyal@informist.net) from Boston
30 November 2002

The emotions and inevitability of human relationship effortlessly transcend the cultural and linguistic barriers. Kolya, a 1996 Czechoslovakian movie by Jan Sverak makes this point very beautifully. The movie is set in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia. Frank Louka (played by Zdenek Sverak who is also the writer of the movie) is a cellist who used to play for Philharmonic (the state symphony orchestra) but now plays at funerals, paints graves and leads a fairly playboy-ish lifestyle. In desperate need of money (to buy a car), he marries a Russian girl half his age and with a young son, Kolya, to get some money in lieu of helping the young lady secure the Czech citizenship. This is very much a marriage of convenience but things take an unexpected turn for him when his wife leaves his country for her lover at West Germany and her mother, who has been taking care of Kolya, falls ill. Kolya's grandmother needs to be admitted to the hospital and he is left to the care of his stepfather. Louka is at a loss as to what to be done with this latest addition to his single-person family. The language barrier does not make the task any easier. Kolya too is not comfortable and he spends his initial time at the strange surroundings sobbing and looking out of the window. Louka makes all the efforts, in vain, to find an alternative to Kolya staying with him - such as social welfare offices or with his mother. Gradually, each person's loneliness and needs bring them closer. The depiction of the gradually increasing proximity is subtle yet strong such as Kolya taking Louka's hand while crossing the road or desperation showed by Louka when Kolya gets lost during a train ride. When their relationship starts hitting a higher note, come government inquiries into Louka's marriage and a representative from the social welfare office. When it appears that the government may not let them stay in peace, Louka, alongwith Kolya, sets off (in the same car that he afforded after the marriage) to go far away from their reach. It is during their stay as outlaws that the public representations begin against the political unrest. Kolya is, un-willingly, re-united with his mother and Louka is back to a life without his stepson. The parting is tragic but Louka seems to have found some direction - he is again playing at the Philharmonic and his companion is now pregnant with their child.

This is a very well made movie that brings out the subtlety of relationships with great ease and humor. Both the actors playing the lead characters have given very realistic and down-to-earth performances.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A film not to be missed

10/10
Author: Bede from Bendigo, Australia
2 November 1998

This is a film not to be missed. The photography is a pleasure; the story line, well, a bit predictable in places, but not jarringly so; the acting from all principals, including the little boy, utterly convincing; and the background is the Czech countryside (masking its pollution with beauty, as shown in a strange scene in the otter-less Otter Creek), the incomparable Prague, and picturesque villages. Listing the qualities of the film does not capture the magical quality that lifts Kolya from the ruck, and the filmgoer from the mundane.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A great movie!

10/10
Author: Giulietta_degli_spiriti from Brasil
23 November 2003

It's a great movie! It's so funny and beautiful! With no sex or violence! It has great actors and a lovely soundtrack! The best movie of 96! It's better than a lot of American movies! Believe it!

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

pretty darn good

9/10
Author: maxwellsham
16 May 2001

I never saw a czeck film before this and I really wasn't sure what to expect. But it was really great and it was fantasticly balanced. Everything, the war, the russians, the home life, the job, the kid, the love interest, the mother, it was all in there and it really blended well. I hope I see many more movies as good as this. The script is great the acting great and it was really funny. Some parts were truly ROFL funny. Amazing picture.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A beautiful foreign film.

10/10
Author: spunky-17 from Illinois
9 June 1999

This was an excellent movie on many levels. It excellently depicts the economy of the U.S.S.R. right before the revolution and is funny at the same time. Kolya,the little boy played by Andrei Chalimon, is an outstanding actor. An especially good scene in the film is at the beginning, when you see Kolya looking out the plane window. The cinematography in the film is excellent and I recommend it.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A touching story

9/10
Author: Tom Murray (tamurray@acn.net) from Belleville, Ontario, Canada
5 May 2001

Louka (Zdenek Sverak), a 55-year-old, self-centred, womanizing, bachelor Cellist enters a fake marriage-of-convenience and ends up alone with a 5-year-old boy, Kolya (Andrej Chalimon), to look after. Through the experience, the man matures and becomes ready to take on a real wife and child. Chalimon gives an amazingly convincing and touching performance. The film won the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar for 1996.

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7 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

enchanted by this movie

Author: ematerso from new england
21 December 2004

my husband and I watched a video of this movie the other night and were enthralled, touched and charmed. Previously I think I had overlooked it with the impression that it might be too saccharine. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many have written on this forum that it is not the best of this writers work or that one can not truly understand it unless one is Czech. Sorry, I am American and can only view it from that perspective. I thought the acting was wonderful. The story, not contrived as some people have said comparing it to Three Men and a Baby and Heidi (and I might add Silas Marner!) I found totally believable. After all how many stories are there in the human experience? The child was a wonderful actor, all the characters were likable and understandable. Also as non-Czechs we welcomed seeing what life, under an occupying, totalitarian force is like. Unbearable Lightness of Being also gave this gut wrenching impression of being occupied but I'm sorry and can't remember if that was Hungary or Czechloslovakia. We will definitely look out for more films by this director or films from other Slavic countries. Oh, also liked seeing Prague. Is that the city in one of the segments from Aria with the beautiful sculpture?

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Nice movie. Loved the direction.

9/10
Author: salmannawab
19 February 2014

Enjoyed the movie. Really liked the direction. Watched the movie with Subtitles and I wish I knew Russian or Czech to understand the language barrier between the characters. Found myself smiling through the subtle comical moments in the movie. It is a heart warming story which focuses on relation between a 55 year old man - Louka - a lady's man, who is dedicated to bachelorhood and a concert cellist struggling to make a living and a 5 year old Russian speaking boy - Kolya forced to look-after due to circumstances post a fake marriage in exchange of money. The characters were nicely built and the acting is superb. Wish more movies like this were created and appreciated, a work of art.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

What a tearjerker!

9/10
Author: (sylviastel@aol.com) from United States
11 November 2013

This Czech film is worthy of all the accolades. Set in Prague on the end of communism, a Russian mother marries a Czech musician to become a Czech citizen in a marriage scam. Franta Louka is a lifelong bachelor and heterosexual who lives alone in an apartment. When his wife leaves for the West, she leaves her five year old adorable son to a relative who becomes ill and is handed over to Louka. Their relationship progresses as the reluctant father takes a liking to the boy. The film also shows how communism and soviet resentment in Czech. The film is both light hearted and serious. I couldn't help but feel sad by the end. The cast is first rate especially the young boy who played Kolya.

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