Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing ...
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Story of a small boy is forced to move out of Prague during World War 2 to a small village of Slavonice where he meets the rest of his family. He needs to make new friends and get used to a... See full summary »
Two families, Sebkovi and Krausovi, are celebrating christmas, but not everyone is in a good mood. Teenage kids think their fathers are totaly stupid, fathers are sure their children are ... See full summary »
Comedy about the people who inhabit a small town. For years the overbearing Pavek has endured Otik, the "town idiot," sharing his meals and the front seat of their dump truck. But Otik is ... See full summary »
In this movie, TV sets are full of life. If a person is in TV (e.g. because it was filmed on the street) it has a double that's right in the TV set. This double needs energy from the true ... See full summary »
Two guys bought a car and travelled through the country untill they met a lonely girl on the road. So they begin to travel together having so much fun. And there is another guy who has a ... See full summary »
A sincere provincial young man, Frantisek Koudelka (Ludek Sobota) leaves to work in Prague. For the trip he buys a computer made horoscope with biorhythms charts, marked according to his ... See full summary »
Franta Louka is a concert cellist in Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia, a confirmed bachelor and a lady's man. Having lost his place in the state orchestra, he must make ends meet by playing at funerals and painting tombstones. But he has run up a large debt, and when his friend, the grave-digger Mr. Broz, suggests a scheme for making a lot of money by marrying a Russian woman so that she can get her Czech papers, he reluctantly agrees. She takes advantage of the situation to emigrate to West Germany, to her lover; and leaves her five-year-old son with his grandmother; when the grandmother dies, Kolya must come and live with his stepfather - Louka.Written by
Gary Dickerson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is a variation on the theme of an older man whose emotional life is reawakened by his being thrust into unexpected parenting of a young child. Many have complained of the exploitation of such time-worn subject matter, but the worth of "Kolya" lies in the particulars of how its themes are developed. After all there are still good movies made about underdog sports teams prevailing, and even the exact same material (thinking Shakespeare here) can be made fresh through different productions.
The man in question here is Frantisek Louka, the place is the Czech Republic, and the time is 1988 (just prior to the "Velvet Revolution"). Financial constraints tempt Louka to enter into a bargain to marry a Russian woman so she can get Czech citizenship and, it turns out, escape to West Germany to be with her lover. This leaves Louka to care for the child "Kolya." One thing that makes this movie stand out is the quality of the acting by all involved. In particular Andrei Chalimon as the Russian child is very natural and will win your heart as he does Louka's. But it's a slow process.
Another thing that sets this off is the political backdrop. I knew about Russia's occupation of the Czech Republic after World War II and the non-violent overthrow of the Communist government in 1989, but that is about as far as my knowledge went. This movie portrays what it was like to live in that environment in a concrete way that a history book cannot. A lot of little scenes exemplify the underlying tensions, such as Louka's being expected to display both the Czech and Russian flags in his window, Louka's mother refusing to let some Russian soldiers in to wash their hands by lying about her having no water, and Louka's purposeful refusal to learn the Russian language. So, this movie provided a small increment in my knowledge of Czech history and that's better than nothing. How the political situation drives the action makes for a singularly interesting story.
The musical score that contains works by the Czech composers Dvořák, Suk, Fibich, and Smetana adds a special quality.
Don't be turned away from seeing this because it touches on familiar themes; it is a quality film with unique characteristics.
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