The Word and Slovo (2022)

The Word and Slovo (2022)

Movie Details

Movie: The Word and Slovo (2022)
Director: Beata Parkanová
Cast: Gabriela Mikulková, Martin Finger, Lea Bankó
Movie Genres: Drama/Narrative
Release date: 12 May 2022
IMDB Rating: 5.9/10
Languages: Czech
Duration: 1h 44m


The Word and Slovo (2022)


Czech film has reflected on the period before and after 1968 so many times that there seems to be nothing left to discuss. Pelíšky and Obecná škola clearly became the most fundamental acts that speak of this sad period, which with their qualities and the way they became symbolic works, even today confirm to everyone that it is not worth trying to imitate them. After all, Jan Hřebejk himself burned out less than two decades later, who did not follow up on his previous success and whose ambitious Horticulture trilogy was quickly forgotten by everyone. For some reason, even this frightening example was not enough for the director of the praised Moments, Beata Parkanová, to prevent her from trying something similar herself.

I was quite a fan of The Word and Slovo after the trailer. Not because I would praise the creator for the choice of the subject, nor for the wooden rendition, which started from those two minutes and the full-length footage then only confirmed it, but because the motif of resistance against something that cannot be resisted very much is close to me, because of Martin Finger .I wish him more success after the 1990s, and because Czech film would finally need to come to its senses. The Word and Slovo is a film that were at least hints that the filmmakers will try it a little differently after all. More intimately. with an emphasis on nuance. But, unfortunately, the effort for an inner feeling confession through the eyes of a sympathetic family is not enough, if in the end your film is unable to properly sell even that central idea.

The film revolves around the orderly and principled notary Václav, his wife Věra and their two children, how they are gradually affected by the fact that Václav refuses to join the party. From the very first minutes, it is evident that Parkanová tries to film everything in such a way that our heroes stand out more than the evil elements around them, for example the opening scene, when two party members come to Václav’s office to try to convince him to sign . The camera almost never takes in the whole of one of them, it lets him speak, threaten inconspicuously, but at the same time remains carefully focused on the character of Václav, whose thoughts you can read at that moment. There are quite a few such examples in the film, and in a way I appreciate this artistic choice, although it is probably not good that the viewer is sometimes more interested in why the characters are standing like that than the plot itself. why does a well-known actress show her face in the film only for about two seconds through a photo (by the way, a kind of album from the filming is interspersed throughout the film, which is a very annoying form of way that do not contribute to anything at all, take the viewer out of the story, and in the finale it’s all completely nothing.Not everything has a purpose here. Actually, it’s quite the opposite.

Fortunately, the weediness of the script is saved by the performances of the two central stars, Martin Finger and Gabriela Mikulková. Although the first mentioned does not have enough good material to make any kind of memorable performance out of it.It is confirmed that principled, stubborn heroes suit him and it is a great pity that the psychological breakdown of Václav as a result of the arrival of the tanks was not significantly more overwhelming. On the other hand, Věruška played by Mikulková is in a different league. In one comically neurotic character, she captured several generations and types of women with whom men do not have an easy time, but are with them anyway, because no one can hold their lives together as well as they do. Sure, sometimes it feels a bit forceful, especially in the second half of the film, but Věra’s character offers, firstly, the desired comedic relief, and secondly, a bridge between the emotions experienced by her husband and the viewer, who best identifies with the torments and worries of his not-so-normal wife. In the scene between her, her mother and her sister while decorating the cake, Parkanová shows that what her greatest strength is which brings us to the conclusion.

If The Word and Slovo had not ended up straddling somewhere between a well-acted family drama, which offered plenty of space for relational battles within the family, or perhaps even neighbor disputes due to all kinds of mistrust and envy that belonged to that time, and then a drama about the rejection of this foreign power, that came for you and your family, or the rejection of the “easy way out”.The Word and Slovo could have had a far greater impact whichever way it went. However it failed to convey anything new like this. On the contrary, it just torments you with a bunch of wannabe noble monologues and even more unnecessary digressions while no one undergoes any major transformation and then it’s all over. A forgettable film within the framework of Czech production, which is saved only by noble intentions, actor’s etudes and sometimes work with the camera which is just not enough.

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