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|Index||11 reviews in total|
I haven't submitted a review to IMDb for several years; but have been
driven to do so by the extremely negative review above. Spare Parts is
an uncompromisingly harsh and downbeat social drama, with scarcely a
"pretty" visual or joke in it. It takes a cold, realistic look at many
facets of modern life, such as illegal immigration, industrial
pollution, what people are willing to do to get money, and our constant
search for love and friendship in the most adverse circumstances.
By not taking sides, and by refusing to demonise characters who in other films would be depicted as villains, the director, Damian Kozole, has rightly implicated all of us in the various ills of society with which he deals. All in all, this is a fine film of its genre, and deserves a wider audience.
Damjan Kozole is the veteran Slovenian punk rocker whose recent film career seemed quite hectic. `Rezervni deli` is his first full success. It covers the sad fate of two immigrant smugglers who operate in Slovenia and transfer immigrants into Italy. These characters live in Krsko, home of the only nuclear plant in Former Yugoslavia. Their world is plagued by impotence, cancer, guilt, dirt and absence of love. Some vaguely developed angles of the story tend to seem more interesting than the main plot Kozole opted for but in the end we end up wit a well-made, very gritty drama that kicks most of the Former Yugoslav competition out of sight.
First I would like to apologize for my possible bad English... I was reading some reviews of this movie, and I must say I was disappointed. There are some very good critics from London, and I don't know from wherever, but people in Slovenia don't like it? Why not? I think this is one of the best new Slovenian movies. Because if i'm honest almost all new Slovenian movies are crap. Old movies (from 60. or so) were ten times better, and still are, they could easily compete with all the Hollywood and other films. Offcourse, we were not independent yet at that time, we were part of Yugoslavia, so those aren't technically even Slovenian movies... So almost all Slovenian movies are crap... But not this one. This is just perfect example what a movie should look like. It has a really sad story, but not the mail plot, what is interesting in this movie, is that it shows what live in Slovenia looks like (especially in small towns). This is a film that I think more people should see, and it doesn't mather from where you are. The story is about 2 characters who make illegal transports of people from foreign countries to Italy-Europe through Slovenia. I wont tell you the rest of what story is about, cause I don't want to ruin it for you. But you really should see it!
A lot of people commenting this film complain about its storyline. The
way I see it, you're not supposed to feel sorry for the man who's a
cold, heartless prick, but to understand that even the coldest pricks
may feel guilt on the verge of death. I think it's very many-sided
description of human mind. Both of the characters are having a sort of
a personality crisis.
The older man is having conflicted feelings about himself and his past, he has been an asshole, and still is an asshole, and he knows that, but know that he knows he doesn't have much time left, he starts feeling regret, or at least something close to regret. The way that he shows it, is done brilliantly. The man is obviously socially inefficient and not familiar with showing his emotions to other people, and now that it's now or never for him, he desperately tries to do so. It comes clear that he never was too much of a father figure to his own children, and he is trying to take the harm back with his young apprentice, as an absolution.
So if you are the kind of person who wants a main character to symphatize with and to hold thumbs up for in a movie, this isn't the right one for you. But if you are the kind of person who's looking for a shaking movie experience which makes you feel revolted and touched and the same time, i recommend you to watch this.
Spare Parts is a thoughtful, dramatic and very watchable movie about
the smuggling of refugees, some of whom may be sold for their organs,
hence the title. The main characters are the embittered smuggler and
his young sidekick, who has moral objections to how they run the
business. The conflict between them produces some of the best scenes of
I thought the film had good production values, the kind of dialog I would expect from modern Slovenians, and a comic moment or two that kept it from being too serious. It's certainly better than most of the predictably weepy dramas coming out of Hollywood, and it has an aspect of social commentary that's welcome in a serious film.
"Spare Parts" is the story of billions of people on our lonely planet.
They may be Slovenian here, but like Rudi and Ludvik, people in most of the world face grim, utilitarian existence and react in much the same ways.
For Ludvik, whose wife has died young, cigarettes and beer are his staples. Furtive runs to the border with Italy transporting refugees in the back of a locked van and an occasional night at the Speedway are all that life has to offer.
At first he disgusts young Rudi who has signed on as a driver. Ludvik farts, he takes advantage of his transports, he charges them 50 Euros for a pizza and more when it comes to young girls who might be coerced into sex. And he coldly remarks that most of the refugees are killed for their organs. The refugees are the spare parts.
But Ludvik has his own humanity beneath the surface. He too is ill. He can't get over his luck that years ago a cigarette company used him as a tester, giving him three boxes of cigarettes free each month. Yet he is dying of cancer and can't quit.
Rudi slowly begins to meet him halfway, hardening a bit of himself to the mistreatment of their cargo and seeing Ludvik for the sad, pathetic soul he really is.
The camera-work is top notch. The film explodes with night shadows and piercing spotlights. Both men are played well by Peter Musewski and Aljosa Kovacic. Not Hollywood names, but believable throughout.
Somewhere just over the border are the bright lights of Trieste, beckoning, colorful.
Rudi and Luvik are real lives, often desperate, often despairing. Set against the backdrop of a nuclear power plant and a nightclub that has all the warmth of a sweat-sock fouled gym, the film breathes slowly, as if life had only so much to offer and couldn't withstand eager gulps.
Rudi and Ludvik reach out to us, without crying out, for compassion. That is their gift to each other and that is the true gift of this gritty film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have a problem with Eastern European cinema. I avoid it because I
expect it to depict a gloomy, dreary, depressing, dark and dirty world
which is so foreign to my culture that I can't relate to it.
Although *Reservni Deli* was all that (and seedy too), it had me interested, partly because I had seen *Pod Njenim Oknom* (AKA *Beneath Her Window*) a few hours earlier, and I wondered what else the Slovenians could do.
The film began by reinforcing my stereotypes of Eastern Europe. There was old footage of a Soviet nuclear power plant. Two Slovenians, one older, jaded and callous, the other younger, sensitive, a rookie to the people-smuggling trade, truck dis-empowered souls through the last leg of their journey to the EU. Conditions in the back of the truck were of course disgusting, inhumane or both. When the cops were around, the music was spooky and I was conflicted as to who to feel scared for. I think I was most scared for the babies who cried when everyone was trying to be quiet and avoid discovery.
The only characters are the people smugglers, their clients/victims, and a potential girlfriend of the rookie, Rudi. She really only serves to highlight Rudi's slow corruption. The only characters I was sympathetic to were the people being smuggled, who show a glimpse of their life's trajectory as they travel through Slovenia.
I was hypnotised by the corruption and increasing cynicism of Rudi, and the correlating lightening and increasing humanity of Ludvik, his older partner.
Of most interest to me was the film's commentary on globalisation and the unionisation of Europe. Ludvik says, 'They all want to reach that f***ing Europe... I hope that as long as I'm alive we don't join f***ing Europe... A united Europe was Hitler's project.' Some irony follows, but it reminded me of the concept of Americanisation and the attempts of Southern and Central Americans to make it to the USA, the professed land of freedom.
I wonder if the West's current embracing of nuclear power was in the director/script-writer's mind at the time of making the movie? I was pleasantly surprised by *Beneath Her Window* and liked this even more. I'll certainly be thinking about it for longer.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This little foreign film set in former Yugoslavia runs a much longer than its actual 84 min or so. It paints an descriptive and bleak picture of a Eastern Euro lifestyle involved in petty crime of immigrant tracking. The 2 lead characters Rudi the older mentor and interesting in their friendship and the way they disdain what their country has become. The background and settings themselves seem brooding and run-down. One of the big character developments relates to that with a Nuclear Plant in town and the lead character's life has taken a real turn for the worst. The film is not particularly pleasant with an air of despair, but it is at heart character driven and gritty. Worth a rental if you like foreign independent films.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
All of Slovenia once cheered for Ludvik Zadjk(Peter Musevski), a former
motocross champ, who relies on nostalgia as an egotistical remedy for
the torment that all celebrated athletes experience after their moment
in the limelight passes. The latest chapter in Ludvik's story is an
ongoing one that often finds the chain-smoking trucker behind the
wheel, staring down on a highway strip, with a cargo of live bodies he
smuggles into Italy for profit and unethical fringe benefits, in the
dead of night. Joining Ludvik, on his maiden voyage into this nebulous
world of human trafficking is Rudi(Aljosa Kovacik), a speedway groupie
who probably took the job so he could be close to his childhood hero,
and also impressing himself upon another groupie named
Angela(Aleksandra Balmazovic) by his close association with a racing
legend such as Ludvik, somebody she'd know about. "Rezervni deli"
contains all the ingredients for a sports film about a young and eager
up-and-comer's mentoring under a fading champ, whose careful grooming
and unwavering devotion towards his pupil leads the boy to triumphant
victory. But that scenario is impossible, not in a country like
Slovenia; not in a city with a nuclear reactor, and not with a
narcissistic man such as Ludvik, who repeatedly refers to himself in
the third-person. The Krsko native teaches Rudi to cross a line,
alright, but it's certainly not a victory line.
The cost of safe passage for your run-o-the-mill emigrant is one-thousand Euros, but the price goes up if the illegal has a pretty face and pliable body. A woman like Ilinka(Verika Nedska), the penniless Macedonian who fits the bill on both accounts, is brought back to the safe house where Ludvik and his associates take full advantage of her poverty, and forces her to barter sex for an antibiotic that her husband needs for survival. While this egregious breech of professionality takes place, Rudi is out buying pizzas. With pepperoni-topped pies in tow, Ludvik encourages his new partner(-in-crime) to help Ilinka earn some money, as if he has her best interests in mind. The lechery of Ludvik and his friends is concealed through the modulation of their seemingly genuine unawareness. Even though Rudi keeps his pants on, he's still guilty of complicity, or rather, the film's complicity to make both men sympathetic to the audience. Shunned by the husband after her forced debauchery, Ilinka is later found dead at the bottom of a cliff; a likely suicide that's reported over the television airwaves as Rudy conveniently sleeps. The filmmaker has a specific reason for never allowing the Macedonian girl's death be made known to either Ludvik or Rudi.
Ludvik's wife died from cancer. Ludvik will go out the same way. The filmmaker invests his morally compromised protagonist with a terminal disease as a shortcut, because it would take more than eighty-four minutes to counterbalance this man's considerable sins. This unearned heroism does nothing to excuse the rapes and the countless people he leaves to their own devices in Italy. "Rezervni deli" gets its name from the butchers who harvest organs for the black market. We're not expected to suddenly like this man just because he's been diagnosed with terminal cancer, are we? Yes, we are. That's what "Rezervni deli" has been programmed to do. The fatal disease is supposed to elicit unconditional sympathy from its audience.
During his farewell run, Ludvik refunds a young mother after somebody alerts him about her lifeless baby. If Ludvik knew about the Macedonian girl, this goodwill act would play like knee-jerk repentance, a last ditch effort to redeem himself in god's eyes. But since he's unaware about her self-inflicted demise, we're supposed to forgive his past transgression, because this act of charity is actually born out of Ludvik's innate goodness.
"Rezervni deli" never persuaded me to revel in the humanity of a man who's partly responsible for a young woman's suicide.
I was intrigued seeing this movie available at my local library. I have
visited the country of Slovenia and wanted to see what sort of films
came from the small but lovely country. With 'Spare Parts' I was quite
The story is a look at two Slovenians who smuggle immigrants from Croatia into Italy. I respect the filmmakers approach of examining the film from a purely middle unbiased stance. There's no attempt to sway the viewer's outlook on this is bad and this is good, but with that approach I also had some personal difficulties. The two lead characters were wrong. They were taking advantage of immigrants for economic and personal gain. I understand the plot was based of actual events in Slovenia, but still I was unable to truly connect to the characters.
Another reason I was disappointed was a lack of character development. I felt that Rudi's character was not development enough. Why is such a young person deciding this lifestyle? What events brought him to such an extreme profession? With Ludvik at least the film touched about his reasons and motivations (widowed, cancer victim).
All in all the film just did not grab me. Despite the filmmakers best efforts of having some good moments in cinematography and directing, I just felt the film was blasé. And it was certainly one of the slower 84 minute films I have ever seen.
4 out of 10 stars.
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