Vladimír Michálek chose an unconventional adaptation of Franz Kafka's novel for his feature debut. Artistically reminiscent of the classic films of Karel Zeman, the director reinterpreted this dark story of a man vainly seeking a place in a rigidly ordered society by changing the desperate conclusion into a happy end. The film provided Czech comedian Jirí Lábus with a new kind of role: that of the despotic uncle of a main hero Karel Rossman (Martin Dejdar).Written by
Czech film center
The movie started off fairly strong, but after a point the scenes lost connections with each other and I stopped caring. It moved at a very slow pace, and in the latter half I found myself constantly checking the time to see when it would end. There were several unnecessary changes and omissions from the book (They even leave out the bit explaining why he had to leave Europe), and the comedy which was a major component in the book is completely absent from the movie. There were even some changes that seem to have been specifically made in order to remove any traces of humor. Except for Uncle Jakob, the characters are also pretty undefined and have little in the way of personality, and at 29, Martin Dejdar looks a bit too old to play a 17 year old.
On a plus side, the production design was very well done, and reminds me somewhat of the movie “Brazil” on a lower budget. It is a shame that they didn’t bother to include the statue of liberty with a sword though, that would have made for a good image.
5 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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