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I Wake Up Yesterday (2012)
"Probudím se vcera" (original title)

6.3
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 151 users  
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Petr Kovár 18
Filip Blazek ...
Petr Kovár 40
Eva Josefíková ...
Eliska Rybanská 18
Martina Preissová ...
Eliska 40
Ljuba Krbová ...
matka Petra
Svatopluk Skopal ...
otec Petra
Viktor Preiss ...
Prof. Krístek
Miroslav Táborský ...
Prof. Maznicka
Zlata Adamovská ...
Prof. Pazitková
Nella Boudová ...
Prof. rustiny
Milan Steindler ...
Prof. Bartos
Roman Sebrle ...
Telocvikár
Jan Vondrácek ...
Inspektor Krecek
Petr Nározný ...
Dr. Prubner
Jitka Cvancarová ...
Marie
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Release Date:

15 March 2012 (Czech Republic)  »

Also Known As:

I Wake Up Yesterday  »

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Iva Janzurová turned down the part of Russian teacher. See more »

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Referenced in To See the Sea (2014) See more »

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The price and prize of human struggle
28 May 2013 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

Time Travel, in the category of "2nd chance".

The number of "2nd chance" plots seem to be on the rise. The reason could be that it's at the core of the idea of time travel: What would any one person do with time travel, if it was actually possible? Go back and correct something, of course.

In the mythos of Time Travel there are two results of traveling back in time: One is that nothing changes, because it has already happened. The other is that future-brought causality will create a different time-line from the one departed from. In this story there are no speculations about causality, except in the most narrow sense: That which benefits the protagonist.

The protagonist is given the opportunity to go back in time - as way of earning some extra cash and because "he's that kind of wacky person, who would do just that." No other clues are given as to why any government institution able to do so would send an unprepared civilian volunteer back in time. And since causality is not a real issue here, there is no debriefing or interview to discern if the person traveling back in time would not f*** things up for all and everyone - even if the reason for traveling back in time in fact IS to change the future from the past.

But, hey, it's not a deep story - it's a comedy. In fact it's like most "2nd chance" plots: It's about lost love, regrets, life not turning out the way it should have. So, trying to make time travel plausible is just a waste of the audience's time. The protagonist, an emotional retarded 40 year old named Petr Kovár, badly needs to go back in time to fulfill the plot's purpose for going back in time: To correct a mistake, so life becomes worth living again! And that is exactly what will happen.

6/10 says it works on many levels, irrelevant science and all. In fact it is quite interesting that Petr goes back twice - because it didn't quite work the first time he was there.

Will it work the second time? Well, love always needs to win. Except in French movies - but this not a French movie.

It takes place in modern day Czech Republic and 22 years previous to that, when the country was still under Soviet rule and everyone voicing their discontent were in danger from Communist party members and sympathizers. The depiction of Communist regime everyday life in school, at home and on the streets queuing up to buy clothes and amenities may have been toned down to fit the comedy's framework, but still feels genuine. We get an actual idea of, what it was like - the western clothes and music that young people dreamed of, and how hard it was to be in fashion and stand out as an individual.

Petr Kovár has 22 years of knowledge of the future, and even if he is trying to keep a low profile and not reveal that he is a 40-year-old man in an 18-year-old body, he cannot quite keep his mouth shut about what will happen. His self-assured amusement - with the knowledge that everything the Communists are fighting to keep under wraps will be over 6 months later - gives the plot content. But otherwise the story is mostly about whether or not he will get the girl of his dreams, and in that respect there is hardly anything at risk.

Everybody wins: He gets the girl and a better future (as in: Now that he knows better, as an adult, he stands up for his beliefs and his heart...), his friends get their partners, as he knows they will, the ardent Communist teacher will come to lead the school (rather than be ousted, when the Soviets loose their grip), the Czechs don't have to co-exist with the Slovacs (an actual line in the film, which leaves me wondering about the actual extent of discontent in the time the two countries were one) and we all end up with the image that love is all. Even in times of occupation.

1st Moral: Be brave, when you see, what you want. In the film: Go for the girl you are in love with, when you have the opportunity. As underlying moral: If occupation ever hits again, fight for what you love.

2nd moral: Normalcy is the price and prize of all human struggle. Not a bad one. It's worth fighting for, if and when you lose it.

Finally: Stressing a slight quirk, which creeps in to most 2nd-chance-plots: When the older consciousness arrives in the younger body, sex invariably will ensue. And even if Petr Kovár IS depicted as an emotional superficial 40-year-old, he still IS 40 years old, when he has sex with his 18 year old sweetheart - except she doesn't know. The morality is obvious: It's not what you are on the inside that counts - it's the body's age that decided, whether or not a sexual mating is socially acceptable. That is very old lore. And not as easy fare today, as it used to be.


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