Grand Prix (2022)

Grand Prix (2022)

Movie Details

Movie: Grand Prix (2022)
Director: Jan Prušinovský
Cast: Robin Ferro, Krystof Hádek, Stepán Kozub
Movie type: Comedy/Drama
Release date: 17 November 2022
IMDB Rating: 5.8/10
Language: Czech Republic
Duration: 1h 47m


Grand Prix (2022)


Despite the strange-looking trailer, I have not stopped believing that Jan Prušinovský in his new film did not go the path of a disjointed rachan, but that he can contribute to the quality of Buran comedy with stimulatingly elaborated social motives. After all, this is what a large part of his work is built on – the BRIDGE! and the District Championship functioned not only as a never-ending well of rumors and bizarre characters but also as a clever social commentary on often overlooked phenomena on the fringes of Czech society. Grand Prix, however, is not able to live up to such demands and ranks somewhere with Prušinovský’s first film František je devkař – i.e. the weakest that the holder of four Czech Lions has presented so far.

Undoubtedly, it hurt the film that its realization was significantly extended due to COVID. It was originally supposed to be filmed already in the spring of 2020, but due to pandemic reasons, it was postponed for a whole year due to the date of the Formula 1 Spanish Grand Prix (which in the end seems like a rather unnecessary decision, but whatever). Subsequently, COVID was also reflected in post-production and touch-ups, so the film is only now being released. But why is this a problem? During the last two years, we have seen pictures like Three Tigers in the Movie: Jackpot with which the Grand Prix has too much in common; and unfortunately, it is more like the latter than the former. In addition, two of the Three Tigers appear in the trio of main characters, the framework story is also similar and, unfortunately, also several sources of humor.

Štěpán Kozub is supposed to take care of the biggest portion of the entertainment, which he achieves again with the help of hissing, pirating, and machine gun fire of unrelated words. He portrays Štětka, an unscrupulous criminal who makes his living primarily by stealing cars and then reselling their parts. The very first shot of the film is dedicated to him, which draws attention from the outset to the fact that this principally minor character takes up too much space – despite his reluctance to change or the existence of qualities that could interest the viewer more.

Roman (Kryštof Hádek), officially the main character of the story, befriends Štětka somewhat against his will. He has a young wife Iveta (Anna Kameníková) and together with their three small boys, they live in a caravan. Roman had the potential of a successful career in autocross at a young age, but due to some unfortunate decisions, he ended up as the operator of a dubious car dealership and an “associate” of Štětka, whom he met in prison.

The trio of anti-heroes is rounded off by Emil in a muted performance from another of Robin Ferro’s Three Tigers. Emil is Romano’s cousin, he has undiagnosed Asperger syndrome and his main and only passion is cars. In amateur autocross races, he repairs cars that the reckless Roman destroys and dreams of the big world of car racing. It is Emil who sets things in motion by winning tickets to the Formula 1 races in Barcelona. He is a little reluctant to take Roman with him, and very reluctantly (and mostly unknowingly) to Štětka as well, with these two (also unintentionally) stealing a large amount of money from a local farmer/mobster who sends his Polish-born hitmen after the trio of thugs.

In addition, they all live in Cvikov in North Bohemia, which is repeatedly thematized by the Prušinovskýs. In a small Sudeten town brimming with poverty and shattered dreams, everyone knows everyone, which is overseen by the good-natured policeman Holeček (Marek Daniel), who teaches the young and still agile policewoman Bíková (Eva Hacurová). She investigates the lost car of pensioner Nováček (played by a sympathetically unpleasant Miroslav Donutil), in which all the aforementioned characters are gradually involved, including the talkative local junkie Jindřiška, energetically grasped by Tatiana Dyková.

In some moments, it is admirable how Prušinovský managed to create a catchy and at the same time completely defying logic situation, connecting a trio of weirdos traveling through Europe, rural gangsters, and Cvikov policemen employed by a grumpy pensioner. However, these scenes are few and far between, and most of the more than one hundred minutes of footage could do with something much more banal.

The main characters are almost constantly cursing, yelling, and creating situations to get angry at each other. However, there is not much fun to be had from this, and so the narrative runs into episodes that lead nowhere – such as when Štětka is packing a local waitress in France, which is supposed to be funny because he is unable to communicate with a plump woman who speaks a foreign language. It seems as if the script relies too much on the charisma of the central actors, but they have nothing to play.

While Kozub once again tests the limits of his facial mimicry, Ferro brings to mind his minimalist role as Mojmír (I appreciate) from Three Tigers, and Hádek presents a more believable creation in the manner of his previous collaboration with Prušinovský in The Snake Brothers. At the very least, thanks to his non-black-and-white history, he has embarked on an interesting development – but none of the characters will. No one is the bearer of any message or catharsis at the end, so we just watch the layering of banal and boring sequences before we stumble hard to the finale.

By the way, this appears relatively suddenly, and before the viewer realizes that he is already watching the last act towards the conclusion of the story, the credits appear (to which, in addition, unsuccessful and cut shots are projected). While the opening of the film still contains a certain potential and statements like “I don’t speed up sober” or “the race track is just asphalt in a field” pleasantly entice the viewer to watch Prušinovský’s socially tuned entertainment, the next course offers much less of similar qualities. Nevertheless, we do not stop looking for something more – but the name of the author encourages it much more than the film itself. This time, unfortunately, the depiction of social misery does not lead to anything deeper than mocking the scum and occasionally digging into the incompetence or unwillingness of the police.

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