It is a story about different worlds - about a man and a woman, about city and countryside, about future and past. It is also a story about animals and their killers, about deep and ...
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It is a story about different worlds - about a man and a woman, about city and countryside, about future and past. It is also a story about animals and their killers, about deep and short-lived passion and the ancient mystery of woman. It is a story interwoven with visions and light smile, a story about a conventional love triangle and metamorphoses into animals, a story about love as a misunderstanding and misunderstandings created by passion.Written by
Due to the ever present money shortage for Latvian cinema this movie was being made 7 long years. Although the director Ināra Kolmane (for whom this is the first feature film after a successful career as a documentary movie maker) tried to glue all the parts of the movie together seamlessly, there was still that feeling back in my mind that a part of the movie was being made quite some time ago, the main actor's outdated cellphone, the hand-held tetris game console a child was playing with and... I don't know how to explain it but the mood for some parts of the film was really pre-recession or even pre-book Latvia-like.
Taking into account that the author herself has stated that the themes of the movie are still relevant even today (and I have no doubt about that) and that the movie was intended as some kind of a modern day fairytale, I could look past that thing and it really isn't the movie's real weak point. But let's start with the good things.
Soundtrack... is it only me or Latvians are getting better and better at making their movies sound really great. Well... not really Latvians, this time it was a renown Icelandic composer but anyway. I've watched Amatieris and Seranta Lapiņa atgrieanās (haven't seen Kolka Cool yet) and I've noticed these positive changes. The soundtrack is simply beautiful and complements the film.
The visual aspect... I'm not the first person to say that but it's one of the most beautiful (visually) movies ever made in Latvia. And I'm happy that, unlike in Amatieris or Serzanta Lapina Atgriesanas (both visually beautiful movies too), a Latvian, Uldis Jancis was responsible for cinematography. That means we can expect some beauty for him in future too. There are some scenes that are still in my head and will stay there for a long time.
Sensible story... it's sort of sketchy but at least I could follow what the movie was about. With other, IMHO, good Latvian movies I've seen before, Amatieris and Serzanta Lapina Atgriesanas, it wasn't as clear as to what the filmmakers wanted to say.
These are the movie's strong points. Now about the weak points.
The intro- it wasn't clear to me what was happening and why it was happening at the very beginning. That's a problem many Latvian movies have.
The love story - I guess the author tried to show us a love story. However I must say that it didn't get through to me. I felt that there wasn't really much love between the characters, just lust and passion... The love story just wasn't that well developed.
The density of it all - as some other people have pointed it out (and I invite you to look at movie's summary on the front page), there's so much stuff in the movie that most of it isn't developed much at all. On the one hand you have the love triangle- check, then you have a businessman trying to escape from the urban jungle- check... and then you also have a slaughterhouse and a question whether it's good to kill and eat animals, you have dreams and nightmares and signs written in the sugar accientally poured on the table... At some point there's just too much stuff taking place in beautiful locations (and Latvia is, indeed, beautiful), that you cannot comprehend whether or not there's some meaning in all of that or not.
But in any case, it's another at least watchable Latvian movie. I'm happy that the age of Streičs and other old school directors is nearing its end as, all due respect to the great filmmakers of Soviet era, cinema has made leaps since the 70-80s and some of our directors seem to be still stuck in that era even now, using boring angles while shooting their movies and employing musicians who can only compose drivel for their soundtracks... and have nothing new to say about this age that is so obviously not theirs.
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