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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:

TEN out of 10 movie!

10/10
Author: Rumo Odprirody Pohan
23 August 2013

This film is an absolute mastership of movie making. The plot might seem simple to some - older man taking care of a child, but the epicness of this drama lies in the historic setting of this story which is amplified by the absolute mastery of displaying the scenes both through the eyes of a 6 yrs old as well as as the portrayed every-day struggles of a grown individual in the "normalizing" era of Czechoslovakia. The film will captivate you from it's beginning to the end, throughout the whole story in it's heartbreaking moments as well as by the easy set scenes. I do not write reviews often, but just I saw this movie when I was like 16, then sometimes in my 20ies, and being 33 these days I find this one probably the maximum level where a family movie can make it. I have no doubt you will enjoy.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Lovely, adorable, perfect...

10/10
Author: Exiled_Archangel from Istanbul, Turkey
23 April 2003

I honestly couldn't hold my tears while watching Kolja. You won't regret watching it if you have a heart and if you have any taste on movies. Everything is realistic in the movie, blended with fabulous pictures and flawless acting. It's entertaining and very well qualifies as an art film too. It has everything one could want in a drama. A lot of feelings in the first place. Pictures how a child can change a crazy man into an excellent father, pictures how love overcomes the nasty feelings toward a particular nation due to occupation, and outlines the real life situation during the last breaths of communism in an iron curtain country. An absolutely fascinating film in general. I'd watch it again anytime.

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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:

Hurray for Kolya!!!!!! Excellent Film!

9/10
Author: Michael Hamilton from Cedar Rapids, IA
23 May 2001

This is a heartwarming, funny, and well made film. I highly recommend it for everyone. It's well written with an excellent cast. It's not often that a film touches its viewers on so many levels. Rent this film, you'll be glad you did!

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Needed relief from the excesses of Hollywood.

8/10
Author: George Parker from Orange County, CA USA
21 January 2001

"Kolya", an award winning Czech film set in Prague, is a sweet and sentimental story about a boy (the title character) and a male cellist who, through circumstance, becomes his guardian. Set against a backdrop of Czech countryside and the architecture of Prague, this well crafted and wistful tale is a worthwhile 100 minute watch for those in need of relief from the numbing excesses of Hollywood blockbusters. Potentially enjoyable by all, "Kolya" will be most appreciated by mature audiences, particularly those who favor European films.

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

10/10

Author: anonymous from Glasgow
27 January 1999

Straight to the top of best film list. Saw this film at the Glasgow Film Theatre - not a spare seat nor a dry eye in the house. PERFECT MOVIE.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

cute movie

7/10
Author: isabelbutic from houston, tx
23 February 2004

This movie had a lot of heart. We watch an aging womanizer learn how to be less selfish, and humor the idea of domestic life when he gets stuck with little cherubic Kolya. It doesn't have the sense of grandness or levity that I'd usually associate with an oscar winner but it was enjoyable nonetheless. Everything in this movie was pitch perfect, from the acting to the dialog. The kid was adorable! My favorite scene is Kolya with the escalator. I don't know much about that part of the world, and I am glad I got to learn a little bit about Czechoslovakia- even if it is through a movie. It was cool listening to their language too. At first, I was watching the DVD in French with English subtitles- until I noticed the words and mouth movements weren't matching up! woops.

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

A work of beauty!

10/10
Author: Nezy
6 June 1999

Louka, a poor Czech musician, agrees to marrying a young Russian woman, in order for him to get some cash and for her to be allowed to stay in Czecho-Slovakia. One must keep in mind that this takes place in 1989, before the fall of the Soviet-Union and the split of Czecho-Slovakia. Louka's new wife soon moves to Germany, leaving a relative to take care of her five-year-old son Kolya. When she falls ill, Louka has to care for Kolya. This leads to big difficulties, as Kolya only speaks Russian and Louka only Czech. This may sound like a really boring movie, but don't be put off by the fact that this is a Czech movie and that you probably have to read the subtitles. Kolya is a sedated, but beautiful movie. It's without a doubt one of the best movies I've ever seen. It shows the world through a child's eyes, especially noticable in the scenes when Kolya is sick. It features wonderful photography, clever lines and both funny and moving scenes. This movie is a work of beauty!

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

familiar material handled in a new and more mature way

9/10
Author: planktonrules from Bradenton, Florida
5 September 2005

The general plot of this movie is certainly not new--a confirmed bachelor having a small child dumped into his lap and the subsequent growth of this individual as a result of raising a kid. However, unlike some other similar movies, this movie never became cloying or overly sentimental (the biggest problem with similar movies). Plus, although this COULD have been a "do it by the numbers film", it diverged into unusual directions (particularly setting the movie in the waning days of communist Czechoslovakia) and the ending was NOT so predictable as well.

The acting, pacing and direction were excellent and I had no complaints about this. The only real complaint I have is that although this type of film is usually intended as family fare, KOLYA is DEFINITELY not--as it has a very brief nude scene. It's a real shame because many who would enjoy this most might not get to see it due to this one extremely brief scene. It DID help the plot along, but was certainly NOT necessary.

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5 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

lovely cute boy

9/10
Author: Roman0 (rtan_2000@sina.com) from China
25 February 2002

This is a lovely movie about a cute little boy. But I don't call it a "kid's movie". The most real human emotions are exposed. There are so many wonderful, moving scenes there, see Louka's large hand holding Kolya's tiny little hand, this can be a token picture of showing the main theme of this movie. Then Kolya's kissing Louka, calling him "papa". The scene when Kolya's making a "phone call" to his grandma, with actually a shower sprinkler. This can express Kolya's actually feelings towards his grandma, how much he misses her. And this did burst me into tears, almost. And a shot close to the ending: Louka waved good-bye to Kolya, then the door slides shut, and Louka's own reflection shows in the mirror-like door... Also, there are many funny scenes about this little boy: his hip got caught by a automatic slide door, but still made his way in; and his interesting behaviors at the escalator, being afraid to step on and off.

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