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

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Worth watching but keep the fast forward near.

6/10
Author: jackbenimble from United Kingdom
28 December 2010

Koyla started out full of promise and had my full attention in the beginning. There's a fair bit of suspense and fun as we try to work out who our man is and how his womanising is going to turn out. There's a fair bit of humour and nice cinematography and you get a nice feel for the country. But then after Kolya the boy turns up it starts to get a bit slushy. There are some nice tender moments but for me it all got too much and you need some drama to balance that out. Only when our man is being interrogated do we get any further suspense. But from then on it's just more of the same, nice filming, child caring and 'sweet' moments but it all got too much for me after a while and I began tuning out. The main actor didn't really express much range of emotion either and he and the film just began to come off as a bit one dimensional as the film dragged to its predictable conclusion.

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1 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Coal Miner's Daughter

8/10
Author: writers_reign from London, England
21 March 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

As a previous reviewer has pointed out there's nothing new either here or under the sun for that matter. Personally I can trace the kid-foisted-on-an-unsympathetic-adult back to Shirley Temple's Little Miss Marker by way of Damon Runyon, this was remade to a certain extent as 40 Pounds Of Trouble back in the days when Tony Curtis was trying vainly to master the art of acting (he never made it if anybody asks you) and in recent years we've had Brazil's Central Station, France's Le Papillon and from the Czech Republic this entry, written by and starring Zdenek Sverak and directed by his son Jan. I remember seeing and enjoying it on its release and now that it's available on DVD I am able to enjoy it all over again. Again I have to agree with that same previous reviewer, there IS nothing new here, there ARE predictable set pieces and we can forecast the ending so that leaves us with just the journey and as journeys go I've travelled far less hopefully. First class as opposed to steerage.

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3 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

Not the best of Czech cinematography.

7/10
Author: Draxx from Toronto, Canada
24 April 1999

Having lived in the Czech Republic for 18 years I can tell all the non-Czechs out there that Kolya is not the best of Czech cinematography. It is good, but really nothing spectacular; the fact that it won an Oscar and many better Czech movies did not only shows how little meaning the award has. Kolya is certainly a type of movie that you don't see come out of Hollywood. As I said it is good (I rate it 7/10), but fails to hold on repeated viewings. Certainly not something worth buying.

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9 out of 20 people found the following review useful:

Not great movie from great director

6/10
Author: d.student from Prague
13 October 2000

Zdenek Sverak is one of best Czech directors and his movies belong to classical movies of Czech film archive and lots of his movies are connected to people brains and hearts very much. But those movies were written without any hidden purpose, just to make movie, and they were great (but with Czech humor and based on Czech mentality and history, it means the movies were not targeted on the international scene where they could not get much understanding). On the other hand, Kolja is movie made for commercial purpose for international scene, it is not Sverak's movie, but it is movie how Sverak expected people in US and western Europe would like to watch. It is too sweet and too heart breaking story. I do not have to see this movie again and I voted for it by number 6.

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0 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

An enjoyable film, even if you don't speak the language!

Author: badger-37 (badger2@prodigy.net.mx) from Guadalajara, Mexico
10 April 2000

I saw film on my TV's cultural channel. It was in "Chek" with spanish subtitles, although my spanish is not all that good and I probably missed some the finer points, it was so well done as to be enjoyable inspite of the language difficulties. Did anyone else notice how much the chellist looks like Sean Connery?

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

See 'Kavkazskij plennik' instead of this.

Author: MovieAlien from az
18 January 2002

Yeah, it was probably cute, heartwarming, tearjerking, funny, happy, what have you not, but it lacks any technical achievement or story originality to deserve a Foreign Film Oscar. Take "Cinema Paradiso", remove the plot about movies, add the concept of "Three Men and a Cradle" and that's essentially the plot of Kolya.

Prisoner of the Mountains ('Kavkazskij plennik') was also a nominee in the category that year and I can guarantee you that it was a million times better, original, and sophisticated than this movie. Check it out on the database, read up on the user comments, plot, and make your decision from there.

For those who want to judge criticism of this film and use the straw man that it was "hard for Americans to understand", give me a break. The film was distributed by Disney(!) and the plot was blatantly simple.

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1 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Sentimental Comedy

6/10
Author: dtomek from Prague, Czechia
3 August 2000

Zdenek Sverák (playing Louka) is the greatest star of Czech cinema as screen-play writer and actor. 'Kolya' is not bad and I cried at certain moments both times I saw this movie. However, 'Kolya' was made by Zdenek Sverák and his son, director Jan Sverák, with the intention to get international success. This caused the film plot is predictable and sometimes embarrassingly didactic. Not only in my view, another movie written by Zdenek Sverák deserved Oscar: I mean 'Vesnicko má stredisková' directed by Jirí Menzel, a film with much better actors than Kolya, less stupid plot, but not less human and touching. If you want to see a really excellent comedy about the situation when somebody has to help, because he is the only one who can help, try to get 'Vesnicko má stredisková'.

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0 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Too sweet, too nice

7/10
Author: Richard Malatinsky from Prague, Czech Republic
29 December 1998

Well, *eh*, like a Czech citizen I couldn't say, that this film is bad. It's a well-done work of the "young" Sverak, but every time I read comments like "wonderful", "best movie" or something like that, it makes me sick. You all the film fans from the USA, Australia and other non-european countries, just try to watch some of the Lubomir Lipsky comedies - now THAT is HUMOUR ! Or -if you prefer art movies- watch the magically amazing black and white pictures from the New Wave {O slavnosti a hostech - for example}, including Forman's Czech films /of course/. KOLYA IS NOT THE BEST FROM OUR CINEMATOGRAPHY !!!

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6 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Not worth the Oscar

5/10
Author: VM-2
10 August 2000

Frankly speaking, this movie isn't bad at all. It has much more interesting moments than those pointless teenager movies released every summer. The cinematography is breathtaking. The image of Czech is so lively, so vivid. White cloud, red tree, green roof, I felt like a new born baby visiting colours for the first time. The score flow through the movie like a old man reading poems. The young Kolya did a fine job here. Most of the time he shows the nature of a kid, exploring the bitter world mess up by the grown-up with a sense of innocence. But there are a few scenes he is too self-conscious. e.g. The crying bath scene. Ya, we know he is just "acting".

What I don't buy is its formula. The formula to manipulate the audience, obviously imported from Hollywood. The sweet feel-good ending. The cute kid method. The shallow bashing of communism. The superficial life-changing experience. All of that made up a Hollywood movie with subtitle. Where goes the true understanding of human nature? Where is the deep, unbiased analysis of social system? Is that once the Wall is down, the people stop thinking?

Right, it got the best foreign movie from Academy. Maybe I am wrong from the beginning. The Academy (a.k.a the Hollywood family) choose best movie not by its greatness, but by the acceptance of US audience, by the coherence to Hollywood taste. Oh, nearly forgot, anything dark, need thinking isn't good for the awards, even for foreign movies. That's why they choose this instead of "Prison of Mountain". That's why they like "Life is beautiful". And don't like movies who dare to speak the truth, the core part of the truth, like "Underground". Compared to same year other domestic academy entries, Fargo, Sliding blade, Secret & lies, Shine, this movie is not even in the same level. Maybe choose this can make Hollywood crowd feel more superior?

If you want to see extraordinary kid performance, go to see the neorealism Iran movies. If you want to see the destruction on a family by the communist system, go to view To Live, Blue kite, The thief, and Underground. There is lot more to offer.

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0 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Insufferably boring.

2/10
Author: malone-25 from Australia
10 October 2009

Here's a well-worn movie formula. A man who is either socially withdrawn or recklessly womanising (our hero is somehow both) suddenly has a small child dumped on his doorstep. The child is in some contrived way "his" and thus can't be gotten rid of easily. Man at first dislikes child; then child effortlessly changes man's life. Cold heart becomes all warmed up by bundle of cuteness. Does the inside of your mouth feel sticky now?

It's worth bearing in mind that the above formula of this inexplicable Oscar-winner is the same one used in the Burt Reynolds turkey "Cop and a Half" and the recently released "The Game Plan", starring Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. Quite an artistic pedigree.

The eponymous child in this film is actually an appalling dullard who almost never speaks and scarcely does anything interesting for the whole film. So it is a small mercy that a third of the movie is over before the boy makes his appearance (with an extreme close-up of his runny nose).

By the time I was into the final third of this film I found myself gazing around my living room in boredom. Soon I was fast-forwarding over every three minutes of footage. (Pity the poor cinema-goers who had no such advantage!) At every place I stopped nothing interesting was happening. The ending tries to inflate itself into importance by using the fall of Communism in Prague as a backdrop, a manoeuvre that's as objectionable as all the attempted viewer manipulation that preceded it.

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