29 October 2016 | docteurhaus
Not good, not funny, low production values
The film's heart is in the right place - wanting to make a movie about the absurdity of war and the arbitrary nature of nationalism (and the ultra- absurdity nature of ultranationalism). There is no right side, no good guys in white hats vs bad guys in black hats, it's way more complex than that.
But the story is not good. The characters are one dimensional. The events are too contrived. The whole thing is theatrical rather than cinematic - it's filled with overacting (acting and speaking for the last row rather than the lens), music, a tool of the filmmaker, is barely used, the story explains that war is complex and multi-dimensional, but our characters are simple and one-dimensional, almost clichéd. The cinematography is poor. There are very few (if any) establishing shots, the whole thing is brown, grey, muddy. Indoors, outdoors, it's all the same. There are no interesting camera tricks, moves or anything of modern "film" whatsoever.
The script is not interesting enough to be read as a screenplay, so why make a movie out of this? The lines let the actors down, who did nothing to save this film. With music playing no part and the camera doing the very minimum and nothing more, there's very little value in this film.
The jokes are few and far between, not enough to keep you laughing. It's also not absurd enough to hit that absurdic bone, unlike Apocalypse Now or Pretty Village Pretty Flame.
The production is quite poor, more like Yugoslav films of the 80s than something made in 2008.
The story is about a group of stage actors who go a war zone and discover that war zones are dangerous and terrible places to be. That's the synopsis and there's nothing to spoil because that's the whole film.
I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.