Balalayka (2000)

  |  Drama


Balalayka (2000) Poster

On a misty morning, an old bus leaves Batum to go to Istanbul. As the bus stops at various places on the way, Russian women of all ages and professions, each with a unique tale, board. In ... See full summary »

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6.4/10
789

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Awards

1 win.

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User Reviews


21 July 2001 | eroka
Starts well, then falls apart; disappointing by the end
The film is about three Turkish brothers fulfilling their father's dying wish – to bring back the remains of his old buddy from Russia back to Turkey. This is just the premise to get the Turkish characters to take the bus home with the coffin. On that bus they will meet and fall in love with a bunch of Russian women who are making their way to Turkey, to work in prostitution. All THIS is contained in a flashback, which starts the movie, of one of these woman who ended up staying in Turkey.

The group of women is very diverse, and yet - a few of them seem to know Turkish rather well, which makes the situation seem contrived. In this respect the movie is quite silly to begin with and the transitions between the languages for the non-Russian and non-Turkish speaker may seem seamless, but they are one of the things that hurt the film's credibility. It's as if the whole setup was meant to create the situation – get 3 Turkish guys with a bunch of beautiful Russian women and get the story going from there, without taking into account at all almost any language barriers (they do exist in one couple's case though).

The gallery of characters is rather interesting, but it is never explained why the women are forced to work as prostitute in Turkey. The mafia people who handle their transport are mean people, sometimes depicted in a ridiculous way, especially when they demand that a woman who works for them and is helping her cousin to get to Turkey to get a new prosthesis will hand the poor girl to them as one of the prostitute. It's not even clear if the

act of bringing these women to Turkey is illegal or not.

Once the bus crosses the border and the band gets stuck is some hole in the mountains the story starts to fall apart, with numerous mistakes of continuity and plot. It just goes downhill from there till the silly and unconvincing ending. Individual characters are sketched rather well, but any character interactions after that tends to be simply dull, if not really stupid. I'll point this one as an example: All the women are intrigued by the oldest brother – a guy of 55 or so – instead of his rather handsome little brother of about 27. The character is a real bore and lacks any charisma that might have been included in the script.

As a whole, the movie is not a good one and does not get above 4/10. It's not a real bore though, so if you want to get some folklore you may get that in the bus scenes.

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Storyline

Plot Summary


Genres

Drama

Details

Release Date:

29 December 2000

Language

Turkish


Country of Origin

Turkey

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