This antiwar drama "There Grows a Green Pine in the Woods" from director Antun Vrdoljak, filmed on the 30th anniversary of the build-up of Partisan resistance, is a very good film although it's more or less just a copy of his previous, excellent movie "When You Hear the Bells": even the two main actors from that previous film, Ivica Vidović and Boris Dvornik, are once again starring in the story and practically reprising their roles. The story is rich with fresh gags that are creating a subversive irony during the state of the World War II - already in the opening shots the two heroes humorously fall from a carriage from too fast driving, capture a bunch of Ustasha soldiers, take their clothes off and send them home in their underpants (one of them refuses to strip in front of a female Partisan soldier, saying: "Should we take our cloths in front of a lady?", on which she replies to him: "Just go ahead, you're not even half a man!") while one soldiers carries a photo of his cow with him! Already classic is the genius sequence where Dikan is forcing a soldier to dig his own grave, preceding a similar one in the famous "Saving Private Ryan" filmed almost 30 years later, creating multi layered characters in he midst of chaotic era, and despite the fact that the action sequences are naive and too casual, it's hard to resist the raw charm of this spontaneous movie as a whole.
Wednesday, 27 June 2007
There Grows a Green Pine in the Woods
U gori raste zelen bor; War/ Drama, Croatia, 1971; D: Antun Vrdoljak, S: Ivica Vidović, Boris Dvornik, Veljko Milojević, Mato Ergović, Inge Appelt, Rade ŠerbedžijaWorld War II, Banija. Soldiers Ivan and Dikan fall from a carriage from too fast driving. They often argue with each other, but still lead their Partisan division fairly well. They catch a bunch of Ustasha soldiers in the forest and let a part of them go home and take the rest as their new recruits. Among the new ones is also a musician who is playing the song "There Grows a Green Pine in the Woods " on his mouth harmonica. Disguised as Ustasha soldiers, they enter into the enemy fortress, but get discovered when Dikan's Partisan hat falls out of his pants. Still, they manage to win and put the fortress on fire. Ivan is slightly depressed because he left his wife while Dikan kills a Serbian Sargent who collaborated with the Nazis. They conquer another fortress but Dikan gets wounded so they run away.