Cirkus Columbia Reviews
Cirkus Columbia is a story set in the former Yugoslavia and centered on a guy who returns to Herzegovina from Germany with plenty of cash and hopes for a good new life. Cirkus Columbia has good writing, but it could have been better. Now I did get into the story and even though I didn't care much about the political aspect of the plot it did add to the drama. I also found each character to be likable in there own way and being being three dimensional which is best the part about the writing. The story flows smoothly and no scene ever feels out of place. Now the writing could have been better like I said earlier. Some of the more important scenes that were meant to be powerful didn't leave much of an impression. The same could said about the ending, while I found it to be a fitting to the story some won't be as satisfy with it. Though it could have been better, it's still a good drama.
I'll admit that the cast themselves wasn't what I expected, but you could tell they got a lot by smoothly they made time pass by. I'm not sure about everybody else, but actor Miki Manojlovic reminds of Robert De Niro for some reason. Maybe it's because they look alike or simply Miki Manojlovic is just that good of an actor. Even though I haven't been to Bosnia it location works well for the story. I can't imagine this movie taking place in anywhere else. Cirkus Columbia might not have to look at, but hard work was into this and that's ultimately counts.
Cirkus Columbia is a gripping Bosnia drama with three dimensional characters that make it worth a watch. Even though this movie is not great, it definitely deserves more attention.
This well researched and developed film, full with hidden nostalgia, will be a real delight to watch for people who lived in the old Yugoslavia and enjoyed a comfortable and secure life... while others, who took over and didn't built anything better will probably criticise this work of the talented Danis Tanovic as too kind to the old country, forgetting that the screenplay is based on the novel Cirkus Columbia by well known Bosnian Croat writer Ivica Đikić. The film was selected as the Bosnian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards, but did not make the final shortlist.
It is not a master piece as the previous No Man's Land from Tanovic but is still high quality film which should keep you in suspense... until the very powerful ending closes with appropriately chosen song by Jadranka Stojakovic - one of the big hits from the 90's in Yugoslavia.
The story about Danis Tanovic threatens to become a classic Welles-Citizen Kane tale, on a much smaller scale, off course. In 2001. he made his debut film No Mans Land, a winner of foreign language Oscar (beating Amelie) and numerous awards around the world. After that he did some stuff worth of a mention, including an interesting take on a Kieslowski script in Hell, but now, with this effort, he made a first total misfire in his short carrier.
The film is set in the eve of Bosnian war, as Divko Buntic (a stiff Miki Manojlovic) returns home after spending 20 years abroad. The communist regime has fallen (unofficially) and Divko uses that fact to throw his ex wife Lucija (Mira Furlan) and their son Martin (Boris Ler) out of the house they have been living in ever since he left. He moves in with his new, much younger wife Azra (Jelena Stupljanin) and beloved cat Bonny, not hiding the fact that he made quite amount of money while he was away. He soon discovers that things have substantially changed since he left. He has problems in establishing relationship with his estranged son but the real trouble begins when Bonny disappears. That urges Divko to offer a substantial award to the one who finds it. His overwhelming concern for the cat alienates Azra, who begins to feel attracted to young Martin.
Tanovic creates a believable atmosphere in the late eighties-early nineties Yugoslavia, with the fall of communism and the appearance of another, much more openly radical social order. But that's about it. The script is extremely overwritten. You have the changing of political climate; ex-husband-ex-wife showdown; father-son relation; Martin's coming of age story... Oh yes, and the missing cat as some sort of a MacGuffin! Obviously, it's too much for Tanovic to handle, as every segment of the film doesn't surpass the level of a sketch. The actors seem to try hard, but can't do much with the material this uninspiring.
Circus Colombia can not be called a glorious fall because it doesn't aim that high. That makes it just plain boring, superficial and incoherent work which can't be saved by its good intentions. Danis Tanovic is much better than this and i`m sure he will show it in the near future.