Monday, May 10, 2010

Will Not End Here

Nije kraj; Black comedy/ drama/ romance, Croatia/ Serbia, 2008; D: Vinko Brešan, S: Ivan Herceg, Nada Šargin, Predrag Vusović, Inge Appelt, Dražen Kuhn, Leon Lučev, Mila Elegović

Martin, a young Croatian war veteran, spots Serbian actress Desa in a porn. He finds the main actor, Romani Đuro, and convinces him to bring him to her. They drive off to Belgrade, where Martin is saddened to find out Desa is owned by a pimp and works as a prostitute. He buys her for 35,000 € and brings her to his home in Croatia. He is kind and doesn't sleep with her, which confuses her. Eventually, they fall in love. Subsequently, it turns out he is plagued by guilt because he killed her husband, a Krayina Serb rebel, during Croatia's War of Independence. Martin's colleague, now a criminal, wants to kill her, but he kills him. He finds out he has a tumor on his brain. But somehow, he stays alive and they remain a couple.
After handling the theme of War in Croatia in two of his films, one comically - „How the War Started on My Island“ – the other seriously – „Witnesses“ – director Vinko Bresan again returned to the theme in a humorous way in his fourth feature length film, „Will Not End Here“. Blending black humor, grotesque, drama and unconventional romance, Bresan's uneven flick can only be categorized as patchwork, yet a film cannot be completely without charm when it starts with a Romani guy performing „music“ with his nose and narrating: „Thank God I'm neither a Serb nor a Croat, but a Romani, a World man. Once Serbs and Croats get sucked into a story, they never seem to be able to get out of it!“ A bizarre experience from start to finish, „Will Not End…“ depends a lot on the viewers' willingness to accept all kind of wild ideas (a protagonist knocks on the door of an apartment. The owner opens it. He tells to the owner: „I have a map showing where your son has been buried. Do you want to buy it?“ The owner replies with: „One moment, please!“, and closes the door. He then returns with a gun in his hand and tells him: „Get lost!“), where some jokes work while others are awful, yet the basic plot gives the film some honest, powerful, almost higher ideal and strength: the one where a young Croatian war veteran spots a Serbian prostitute in a porn and saves her by buying her off from her pimp to bring her to his home. Such a story reminds somewhat of „Taxi Driver“ and well made, but sadly forgotten „Mad Dog and Glory“. The interaction between him and her in his home is fascinating, since she expects him to act as a pimp, but he only acts as a gentleman, cooking for her and bringing her flowers for her birthday. Actually, all other subplots in the film, including the criminal one, are useless, since the romantic one is scarce, but so spot on and at times unusually emotional.


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