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Death of a Man in the Balkans (2012)

Smrt coveka na Balkanu

Starring:

Aleksandar Djurica

Anita Mancic

Bojan Zirovic

Branislav Trifunovic

Emir Hadzihafizbegovic

Ljubomir Bandovic

Milica Mihajlovic

Milos Samolov

Mirjana Karanovic

Natasa Ninkovic

Nikola Djuricko

Nikola Kojo

Radoslav Milenkovic

Directed by:

Miroslav Momcilovic

Rating: 6/10

UK Certificate: 18

Country: Republic of Serbia

Death of a Man in the Balkans is about the Death of a Man by suicide living in Serbia in the Balkans. Well, this chilling event is where it starts and then the rest of the story centres on his inconsiderate neighbours as they sit around his house, using his stuff whilst waiting for the waylaid police and ambulance to turn up.

The problems here is that it takes a fair while to get going and most of the laughs come towards the end when it begins to get a bit more absurd. This basically means that a large part of the film is spent waiting for the escalation in the situation and the laughs that you’re sure must inevitably come. Miroslav Momcilovic’s movie is therefore intermittently funny and never raucously so but it does have certain moments when it really hits the right note. But unfortunately, I hate to use this word, but it’s all a little boring and it seems like a painfully prolonged sketch.

Momcilociv does have to be commended for an original idea – the whole film is set in one room in front of the webcam on which the victim filmed his suicide – and for keeping the action pretty watchable and believable with many parts of the dialogue seeming very familiar to this kind of situation. One way of keeping you hooked is the staged introduction of interesting and increasingly ridiculous new characters. There’s Vesko (Milenkovic), who just wants to get drunk, an angry policeman (Bandovic) who’s going through a messy break up and the world’s most inconsiderate estate agent (Djuricko). Their interaction and the relationships of power are authentically portrayed as each one seems to have the upper hand on some of the group but not all of them.

It's Got: Excellent characters, characterisation and character relationships, some funny moments, a novel idea

It Needs: To be quicker off the mark, a few more laughs, less of Aca

Summary

A good idea with great characters that’s not quite got enough mileage in it to stop you from getting bored. Interestingly, it’s seems much more of a chore to watch at the beginning than at the end.

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