Bájecná léta pod psa (1997) Poster

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Wonderful years under the dog
Martinek-213 November 1998
I just can't put this film down. It perfectly captures the mood and sense prevailing in communist Czechoslovakia. We open with a queue for meat which Father ( Ondrej Vetchy ) bypasses to do some blackmarket dealing with the butcher. "Mother" ( Libuse Safrankova - at her usual brilliant best ) is expecting her first child ( which arrives at an unfortunate time - just after the interval at the theatre ). Baby Kvido is the apple of his grandmothers' eyes but his formative years are interrupted by the Soviet Invasion of 1968. The film follows the effect the Soviet "occupation" has on Kvido's parents. The mid-life crisis of Father is fed by the arrival of the stunningly beautiful Mirjana from what used to be Yugoslavia. Mother and Father fall out over dinner when Mirjana is invited round. The film explores how the weight of a cruel and corrupt society and an unhappy marriage drag a man down. Don't miss this film the ending is optimistic and the experience will leave a smile on your face. I watched in the original Czech with subtitles something may be lost.
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8/10
Odd but Delightful!
yossarian1006 December 2008
The story is told using a gentle, almost subtle, form of storytelling, which works amazingly well because, even though the story takes place during the Soviet occupation of Checkoslovakia, not a particularly funny time, it's also warm, humorous, and down right good natured with more than a few laugh out loud moments.

I'd like to say there's a strong political message here, but I can't. What I did come away with is that life goes on, no matter what's going on around you. There's no grand historical perspective here. Just the history of this one odd little family told in an almost lyrical way.

Each character is a well painted portrait but not necessarily an expected one. Yet I warmed to each character quickly.

The storytelling is top notch, the acting mostly so, and the overall effect is both charming and entertaining.

I was pleasantly surprised by this fine little movie and I recommend it without reservation.
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8/10
Loved film, annoyed by DVD
tortoise-4062928 February 2016
I saw this film on TV pretty soon after it first came out and loved it. It was an insightful coming of age film, as well as a quirky but good depiction of the absurdities of life under communism in the then Czechoslovakia. The humour is a mix of the subtle and not so subtle, and the dramatic content is well handled. The acting is superb, with all cast members putting in a good effort and the leads absolutely smashing it. The film is funny, touching and ultimately uplifting. 10 stars, but for the problems with the DVD, which was a major disappointment.

It was hard to find the DVD, but I eventually found it on Amazon, advertised as having English subtitles. Unfortunately only the dialogue is subtitled, not the witty and interesting voice-over, so much of the film's charm is lost.
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