21 November 1998 | Fang-6
Disappointing because it's been done before and done better
This film left me cold. It lacks the intelligence and style of the "Before the Rain" and the ferocity of "Pretty Village Pretty Flame." While the acting was good, the characters somehow never really move you the way they should. They remain two-dimensional. There are young lovers, the good soldier, the evil paras, etc. , but none of them have any complexity despite being in a complex situation. The editing seemed rather meandering and the pace surprisingly slow for a story set in a city that came under constant, violent siege. Some reviews cited this as an unbiased, anti-war film. For those familiar with the situation, there's an obvious political slant, and some infamous events were left out. Considering the fact that this is a Serbian film made while war still raged in Bosnia and Serbs had become international pariahs, the sympathetic treatment of Serbs isn't surprising. The surprise is that it's done subtly. As an anti-war film, it's more successful, but still lacks the force of classics like " All Quiet on the Western Front" or "Gallipoli."