Friday, February 11, 2011

The Tour

Turneja; Satire/ War/ Drama, Serbia/ BiH/ Croatia/ Slovenia, 2008; D: Goran Marković, S: Tihomir Stanić, Jelena Đokić, Mira Furlan, Josif Tatić, Dragan Nikolić, Slavko Štimac

Belgrade, '93. Six theatre actors - Stanislav, Jadranka, Sonja, Zaki, Lale and Đuro - accept an invitation to perform in Srbobran, a city in the Serb held territory of Bosnia. Their bus driver is Miško. Once there, they get a close experience with the Bosnian War: Colonel Gavro forces them to give all their profit from ticket sales to a Serb humanitarian organization and they have to give a second performance, for the soldiers. The actors get lost and stumble upon the Croatian Defence Council. When they get captured by the Bosniak Army, the leader releases them after they recite a play.

Maybe it is unjust to compare every Serbian humorous film where a couple of opposite characters are traveling by a bus with that all time classic "Ko to tamo peva", yet such parallels are difficult to avoid in the case of "The Tour", except that 5 minutes of Šijan's film are funnier, more imaginative and more alive than the whole of Marković's. "The Tour" envisaged to present a satirical story about the elite society in Belgrade 'detached' from the Yugoslav Wars by putting them in the middle of it, juggling with a few wise observations about the relationship of art with society (while performing a play on stage, the actors bore the Serb army, but by quoting some plays in front of the Croatian and Bosniak army, it saves their lives), but as a whole the film has, unfortunately, only 2-3 good jokes, while the rest is an overstretched, bland piece of film-making, whereas some of the six main protagonists are so underwritten that part of the viewers will only remember that they were consisting out of "two women and four men". Though, the film has some sharp moments, like when the six actors are surprised that they will not be paid for their play in front of the soldiers because it "could be considered that they are war profiteers" or when Stanislav addresses the ultra nationalist Ljubić by telling him that he maintains the 'Serbs are a heavenly nation' rhetoric only "to earn money".


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