6 January 2017 | doomandquake
A good documentary re-enactment style film
This is not a very cinematic film, it looks more like a TV film, a TV show or a documentary re-enactment film. The reason is that this is actually a TV show cut to make a film. This film also exists in an episodic format, with more minutes I believe.
The TV-quality is the biggest flaw with the film. The cinematography is not great. No attention is given to color grading. Lighting is also weak. Scenes in a prison cell at night have too much light. Camera movement is not good. The camera captures what's in front of it, but doesn't do what cinema cameras do - move, pan, tilt, etc.
I'm not nitpicking. We have to mention these things because we want the cinema of Serbia to improve. These advanced ideas do exist in some Serbian films but not so much in Serbian TV, which is stuck in the 90's. So when someone makes a Serbian film out of a TV production, it looks old. Not 1914 old, but 1994 old.
The acting is good, but I'm surprised by the casting a little. Could they not find a German-speaking actor to play Rudy? Or someone not fluent in Serbo-Croatian to play the Czech Malek? Why is so little attention given to accents?
I don't care if someone has a 2000's Belgrade accent when he's supposed to be a Bosnian peasant from 1914, but did Rudy really speak so fluently and eloquently in Serbo-Croatian? What about Malek? Couldn't they have brought a Slovene or someone with an imperfect accent?
Those are my complaints.
The rest of the film is very, very good. The acting is convincing. There is no overacting or wooden acting. The music was good, but I felt that they could've given more time to music, either bands, radio or score. Music is a tool and it wasn't used much in this film.
Everything looked convincing, like it was 1914.
It was well-researched and there were no short-cuts taken.
It did not fall to modern political bickering. I'm not going to call it a pro-Yugo film, but it felt like one (and that's a good thing in my book.) Many Slavs lived under Austro-Hungarian occupation and annexation and there were both Pro-Yugoslav and Pan-Slavic movements. It just happens that these boys decided to act on it.
There aren't enough shots of the country. A lot of stuff happens indoors. It's not hard to do establishing shots or mood setting exterior shots (fields, buildings, etc.)
This film is a very educational film. It gives you the sense of the time in many ways. But this film is not for everyone. It is a legal drama more than anything. I like that kind of thing, but many don't. If you like courtroom shows and like historical stories, this one is for you.