29 December 2010 | Balkanibal
Set in the region of Lika in Croatia, the film shows a family whose only source of income is the monthly US military pension from the deceased grandfather who died in WW2 (on the island of Sicily). His widow wife, the senile grandmother of the family recives the money every month, of course she doesn't see a nickle, the rest of the family splits it between them. So they keep her from harm and take great care of her cos' as long as she lives they don't have to work (sounds like "the Balkan dream").
This is the premise, and that's all I'll say about the content of the film.
The idea of the film is likable and there are some major ex-Yugoslavian film stars featured. The film is a refreshment for the Croatian cinematography cos' the always present theme of war is not the center point of the story, sure it's there but in the background. I can't tell if it's going to be a success on the film festivals around the world but it could win fans here in the region for sure, both Serbia and Croatia.
The way that the story unravels is a bit predictable but it's done by the book and you don't get lost. The directing isn't imaginative and that's my biggest objection, it's a bit boring. The story is interesting but I fell it could have been made better.
The director is Danilo erbedija the son of a well known father Rade erbedija, even Rade's daughter Lucija erbedija appears. So the erbedija family made a movie about another family business :)) Fans of Rade erbedija will be pleased with his performance, he is the absolute best and stands above all the others, who are not bad don't get me wrong, but the difference in quality between Pater Familias & Co is obvious so the film appears to limp a bit, it's unbalanced. I see a lot of resemblance with "Prosjaci i sinovi" a classic ex-Yugoslavian drama series from the 1970-ties in which Rade erbedija played, well the same role as here :) But it's forgiven, he is a great actor and I just love that role so I can't hold it against him.
The film has it's flaws but I generally like it. Some of the supporting actors are brilliant and fun to watch, most of the jokes are funny, in Croatian at least, and the rural "redneck" setting is more or less believable.
I give it 6/10