In a desolate and colorless landscape stands a dilapidated bathhouse run by a puffed-up blind man, his long-suffering wife, and their son Anton, who does all the work. He's lonely and ...
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In a desolate and colorless landscape stands a dilapidated bathhouse run by a puffed-up blind man, his long-suffering wife, and their son Anton, who does all the work. He's lonely and unsophisticated, and he falls in love with the beautiful Eva, who comes to bathe with her father. When Eva and her father lose their home, they come to the bathhouse to stay, but bits of the ceiling fall on the old man and he dies. Eva blames Anton, and she seems to seek the arms of the brute Gregor. Can Anton win back her heart, get the bathhouse through a rigorous government inspection, and help keep his parents employed? Waiting out there somewhere is the paradise isle of Tuvalu.Written by
I had the chance to see this movie in the Porto, Portugal film festival Fantasporto 2000. The story revolves around a decadent public swimming pool, run by a blind old man who's mind still lives in the building's days of glory. It focuses on the people still using it, and on the persons still working there: a woman with a fixation on buttons and one of the old man's sons, who struggles to keep the building alive. The antagonist is the old man's other son who eagerly waits for the destruction of the building so he can build condo's.
I found the concept of making a film without dialogs very interesting. Although people might think this could make the film boring and hard to follow, this doesn't happen at all. Merit goes to the actors, who deliver a very expressive and quality performance, without falling into ridicule, and to the rhythm given to the plot.
Regarding directing and photography, all is presented neatly, but I can't help mentioning the similarities to Emir Kusturica's (namely in the portraying of the 'post-apocalyptic' universe and the nonsense touch of the plot) and to Jeunet & Caro's work (the building and the 'impossible romance' between the main characters is shown very similarly to Delicatessen). Although this impairs a bit the final result, I believe that in the end it is a nice movie which most people will enjoy and be surprised with (specially if they haven't seen any Kusturica or Jeunet & Caro movie).
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