Young Loyzik's angelic mother dies, leaving him on the family farm with the unhealthy company of an ineffectual father, a pathetic aunt, and--eventually--a wicked stepmother. His only true companion is a motherless chick whose life he saved. Together they brave, for a while, the daily torments of earthly life.
For all its rich cinematography, "The Melancholic Chicken" is nearly unwatchable. Initially, the photogenic Czech countryside and well-considered shot composition promise something of a visual feast, despite some frequently self-conscious and distracting filming techniques. It soon becomes apparent, however, that the film has little idea where it is headed. It offers no plot line nor any significant character development. This leaves "The Melancholic Chicken" essentially hollow, supported only by a dreary fatalistic theme and the heavy-handed symbolic parallels between Loyzik and his pet chicken. Furthermore, director Jaroslav Brabec's constant attempts to marry sentiment and sensuous pathos are jarring and altogether unsuccessful.
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