Parada (The Parade) Reviews
"Parada" ima elemente komedije i tragedije, likovi su izkopirani iz sli?nih "doma?ih" filmova a radnja je, moram priznati, originalna....iako to ne zna?i nuno dobru stvar....Redatelj Dragojevic potpuno je izkomercijalizirao film pribliavaju?i ga tako ve?im masama ili op?oj publici umanjuju?i kvalitet sadraja te dubinu i razvoj likova.
Da ne duljim, ova aktivisti?ko-jugonostalgi?na disertacija s elementima komedije spada u onu vrstu filmova koju bi preporu?io svim mainstream gledateljima eljnih solidne zabave te sprdnje na ra?un onog glupog i nepotrebnog rata.
The gay pride parade in Serbia has never been protected by the corrupt police forces and has always been attacked by extreme right wing groups. People protesting against the parade have always clearly outnumbered the parade itself.
"Parada" approaches this subject through bubbling humor. The farcical plot tells the tale of Limun (Nikola Kojo) a veteran of the war and a former gangster, who has to battle his homophobic views in order to save his own wedding. An absurd sequence of events leads to his wedding planner blackmailing him into offering protection to the Gay Pride parade in exchange for a wedding that would make Limun's fiancé happy. The film is filled with silly comedy, but it also manages to be quite observant at times. Some of the lightness conceals serious and dark themes. Dragojevic isn't afraid to observe his at first caricature-like characters deeper than one might initially expect, nor does he shy away from, serious drama, even tragedy. It's a wonder how so many different tones and elements mix together so effortlessly, but they do.
Then to the matter of the film's influence. It was reported that when the subject matter of "Parada" was revealed the director and cast were viciously attacked in discussion forums as well as the media. But eventually it earned high praise from reviewers and gained monumental interest in the box office on top of being a success in international film festivals. One could argue that the story is so very lightweight and comical that people will digest it too easily for it to make a difference. But at least I was more than anything almost devastated by the tragically poignant final statements we are left with at the end. I find it hard to believe that all those masses of people in the Balkans simply failed to notice them.
Nikola Kojo plays Limun (The Lemon"), who's keeping in touch with his war time glory by doing some dirty work for the country's newly enthroned jet set, the kind that usualy comes to the surface after a major conflict. His cover is a judo club he leads with bunch of old timers. Already divorced, he's getting ready for a new wedding with Biserka (Hristina Popović), a trendy lady with some worm feelings towards The West (just don't ask her to point it out on the map). For a wedding planner, much to Limon's dissatisfaction, she hires Mirko, an openly gay young man who's paying for his "politics" by planning weddings instead of directing plays (that't what he learnd to do in school). Mirko's boyfriend is a veterinarian Radmilo (Milo Samolov) who has no problems with keeping his orientation a secret. Radmilo already met Limun, while saving his beloved bulldog from deathly, revenge induced, injuries.
The circumstances mentioned above bring Limun to the position of having to defend the parade. Since he has no hope of finding much help within the Serbian borders (the chief of police, like everyone, leads a politics of his own), he sees his only chance in recruiting the thugs from neigbourhood countries, all of which he shares some wartime memories with. They are: from Croatia Roko (Goran Navojec), now running a bistro, video clerk Halil (Dejan Aćimović) from Bosnia and Azem (Toni Mihajlovski), an Albanian who's spending his time selling drugs to US soldiers on Kosovo and having a pretty comfortable life out of it. There's maybe one scene too many in showing the absurdity of their comradery (considering they fought on different sides not so long ago).
It's a comedy of manners, with the elements of a road movie I found particular enjoyable. Dragojević should be congratulated for making the mess on screen seem organized in the entire course of the picture. It's an admiring piece of storyelling. Since he puts this, the most current of subject around here, in the context of happenings in the last 20 years, a small insight into that period could help you to gasp certain aspects a little better. However, that's far from imperative for understanding the final product. This is first and foremost a comedy, and besides, there is a short explanation in the begining for all those unfamilliar.
The deal with Dragojević is that he's a talented director and, at best, an average writer. He can scrible down a catchy and quotable line of dialogue, but character development is not his thing. What benefits him is that he seems to be aware of that. It is evident in the way he envisions his characters. They all serve some higher purpose he's trying to get to, rearly coming out as individuals. That kind of sterotypical portrait is not new to him. In Pretty Vilage, Pretty Flame, mabey his best known work to date, all of the participants symbolised certain broader points of view and played their role in a pointless clash of ideologies shown in that film. Like in that earlier picture, here too Dragojevic never allows it to be a problem, esspetialy having in mind that this genre more than tolerates it. That being said, the fact that he uses stereotypes and intends to breake them at the same time doesn't allow the film to go far beyond entertainment.
My problems with the film increased as it was reaching the conclusion, and writer - director's intentions started to became clear. There is really something utterly vapid when a rounchy comedy turns into a mesage movie. That kind of shift in tone is imposible to pull of, and it makes you wonder about the filmmaklers intentions in the first place. Was it a trap they didn't know how to avoid or did they plan this kind of cheep attack on our emotions from the beginning? The final scenes (i'm not going to reveal them, naturaly) may be justifiable from the purely human side but they make movie loose much of the credibility.
The Parade won't solve this newest problem citizens of Balkan countries entertain themselves with - that's neither the goal or the reality of art. It didn't even play the role in encouraing some big debates on this subject - turning on the TV is quite enough for that. What's left in the end is the thing that should be the most important when all of the secondary aspect have been put asside - the motion picture. From that aspect, this movie provides enough laughs to check it out. Just don't expect anything more