Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Quit Staring at My Plate

Ne gledaj mi u pijat; drama, Croatia, 2016; D: Hana Jušić, S: Mia Petričević, Nikša Butijer, Arijana Čulina, Zlatko Burić, Marijana Mikulić

Šibenik. Marijana (24) works as a lab technician in a hospital and lives a depressive life in a small apartment which she shares with her poor income family: the unemployed brother Zoran, unemployed mother and macho father. When her father endures a stroke, he is left bed-ridden and Marijana now has to earn for the whole family alone, as well as feed and change diapers for her paralyzed father. Bullied at work and annoyed at home, she randomly takes a ride to have group sex with two unknown guys. After an argument, she decides to leave the apartment and move to Zagreb. In the last moment, she changes her mind and returns to her city.

Hana Jusic's feature length debut film, "Quit Staring at My Plate" is one of those calculative art-films with typical cliches for the art-film audience: a passive hero(ine) who suffers through her depressive life all the time, who doesn't do anything about it and then the movie ends without anything being resolved or changing. It has good shot composition, good technical and production values, good actors - yet it is just simply lifeless, sterile, dry, grey and monotone, one of those standard-depressive 'social drama' movies that amassed in Croatian cinema without any ingenuity or spirit. The dialogues are uninspired, since the movie is basically about nothing - random scenes show up which lead nowhere (Marijana is warned that people are getting fired at work, for instance, but that never really proves useful later on in the film) and the only moments that are memorable are the sequence where Marijana has to change diapers for the paralyzed father in bed and the (unrealistic) moment where she has group sex without condoms with two men she just met in a car. The film may be a realistic presentation at nihilistic empty existence in modern society, yet it still lacks highlights. It is basically a soap opera.


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