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Jelena Bajic Jocic
Velimir 'Bata' Zivojinovic,
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Potentially great, a farce that did not really work
A web cam, deliberately placed in the corner of a room by an anxious looking man, breaks the fourth wall and opens the black comedy Death of a Man in the Balkans. Cut to black, a gunshot, then cut back to the room only to reveal the body of the same man falling on the floor. Having heard the shot, his neighbours enter the scene, followed by an overly ardent funeral arranger, an estate agent, paramedics, policemen and, finally, a pizza delivery man. Their typically balkan behaviour is the cause for many humorous moments, each of them reacting in their own idiosyncratic way to the death of the man (who turns out to be a reclusive composer).
Unfortunately, the film does not really live up to its potential. I was drawn by the tags "serbian" and "comedy", as the combination of the two is usually a spectacular experience. This time, however, the dialogue and the situations lacked intensity, as if the author had not really dared to explore fully the depth of the characters. The web cam gimmick worked perfectly, the way the composer arranged some of the events due to take place after his death (such as ordering a pizza for the guests) was impressive as well. The others, the actual participants in the events should have been the faces of a farce, but they could never make us laugh out loud.
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