Wiktor Grodecki's masterful film entitled "Mandragora" is by any standard, a stirring and gut wrenching example of poverty gone amok. The torrid film depicts the story of Marek, superbly played by Miroslav Caslavka, a troubled boy of fifteen who, bored with the juvenile pranks and idle antics in an average town, seeks the glitz and glitter of the city of Prague. Once there, he quickly realizes the needs of life in the big city come with a price, one which he cannot afford and thus succumbs to the hungry appetite of the predatory elements surrounding him. Beginning with the alluring promise of quick cash for services rendered, Marek, quickly realizes this means his 'innocence' which is taken after being drugged and raped. Escaping the inattentive and uncaring pimp, he descends into the depths of sexual perversions when he encounters and befriends a more 'experienced' partner who trades him to a dark, sadistic pair, leaving him broken and violated. The decent into the perverted practices continues when, after a brief respite, he finds himself beaten, left for dead and in the hands of a vicious pornographer. With his father searching for him, the boy having survived an appalling apprenticeship, delves into the illusionary and dead end world of drugs where father and son unfortunately miss each other by inches. All in all, a truly revealing film for anyone wishing to have a worm's eye view in the slow death of male prostitutes. *****
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?