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One of my favorite movies of all time - top 3!
Kusturika's highly-acclaimed comedy-drama is actually rather contrived and overlong.
The Cannes winner in 1985, this film tackles the toll a war takes on one family that has its own dysfunctions. A working knowledge of 20th century Yugolav history would help with comprehension, but it's still an effective story.
I have to admit, films screened at the Cannes Film Festival usually tend to be very slow and artistic, but we rarely the screening of films that make you smile and cry. "Otac Na Sluzbenom Putu," told through the eyes of young Malik, is about a man sent to a labor camp for a remark about a political cartoon. This leads to his family's financial struggle and Malik's confusion about the reason for everyone's strange behavior since his father is 'only away on buisness.' Emir Kusturica's "Otac Na Sluzbenom Putu" is truly one of my five favorite films of all time because of its powerful message, its quirkiness, its ability to make you engaged, and on top of that, on a technical level, it is perfect. First, if you have not seen the movie, its title is the lies told to a young boy about his father's whereabouts who is actually imprisoned in a labor camp for speaking against the socialist government. The entire movie revolves around its aftermath and its impact on a young boy who begins to feel the consequences of the absence of his father, and the family's descent into poverty.In particular, Malik, the youngest son starts sleepwalking and has to see his mother cry ever single day. A boy this age should never have to experience this trauma inflicted on him by his government.Moreover, the film is quite peculiar in a sweet and original way.Specifically, the eldest son is an aspiring filmmaker who presents his animated films to his parents, but he must first gives his father a back massage by walking on his back. This movie pulls you in as fast as the first scene and when it throws you out at the credits you feel like your body has been tele-ported.For instance, there is a very tearjerker-esque scene in the film, which made almost bawl my eyes out. Other scenes, forced the biggest grin on my face. A film with that kind of power is unforgettable. Finally, on a technical level this movie is astounding. The cinematography is subtle yet visually-pleasing. The acting is so well-developed that you feel as if you truly are there especially Moreno de Bartolli's performance as the young Malik. The direction is a sum of every reason I have just praised this movie especially its power. Even the writing is original,deep, and moving. "Otac Na Sluzbenom Putu" is a must-see film classic that is very culturally significant and is one of my all-time five favorite films.
Can be long at times, but never dull, a story of a man punished in a society that has no care for freedom of speech.
Despite him cheating on his lovely wife every second he could, I still found the father to have mad charisma, and he was good with his children. He just seems to have no shame when cheating on the younger girls, even with a pregnant wife or with his son around.
I guess I have no idea of the politics and beliefs from where this film was set, and the time period either. Only knowing my country, some of the stuff they seem to pride themselves on as a people, well it was, odd. To think this guy would have to go to a prison like camp for not thinking a cartoon was funny is beyond me.
And the only actor I even recognized was the French Woman from LOST. She plays a bit of a trap, and has lost a good deal of weight since this film.
Another thing in this film was the child nudity. Not gonna lie, it was weird. I have never seen that much before. Maybe it's my snobby Americanism ways, but I don't want to see the genitalia of kids. Not to mention I really didn't need to see a circumcision. Maybe I'm just a prude, or not yet a parent, but it was just weird.
Another charming movie by Emir Kusturica. Whether this guy shows us the plights of an entire nation or the everyday life of a family he does it in such an entertaining way that you 'll be surely enticed for the whole movie. Here he does a little bit of both. He shows us the plights of an entire nation through the everyday life of a family. The performances are excellent with Miki Manojlovic, Mirjana Karanovic and Moreno D'E Bartolli standing out, the humour is black and always present, the direction is smooth and suits the screenplay and the musical theme is a gentle caress to our ears. An essential film.
I tend to read friends reviews because I always want something new experience and it helps me discover gems that I otherwise would have never seen. Which brings me here today reviewing When Father Was Away On Business and it's gonna be really hard for other Yugoslav movies out do this classic.
When Father Was Away On Business plots deals with family and political issues in post WW2. What really caught me by surprise is how invested I became with it characters that I didn't notice the political context of movie until the end of film. This film effectively illustrates the absurdity of the oppression of free speech and any system used to try and enforce it in such an effective way that it makes you think. It handles it political message very well and doesn't shove its beliefs down your throat. Mesha, played by the magnificent Miki Manojkovic, is a very dynamic character. He's a father who's very caring about his family, but has no shame about cheating on his wife. All the characters feel fleshed out and it's makes them actual people. My favorite scene, which I won't spoil for those who haven't seen it, it involve Malik losing someone he loves which I found heartwarming and tragic at the same time. When Father Was Away On Business is a rare historical movie that balances romance and politics so well anyone can get into it.
The cast played a huge role in making this good. Every part and every character was played by the right actors that it felt like I watching reality. The direction is masterful smoothly telling a story and keeping its viewer engaged. Now I notice When Father Was Away was nominated for an Oscar for best foreign film and didn't win. Which have made sense if Ran had won it since it was nominated in the same category that same year, but it lost to La Historia Oficial (The Official Story). Despite not winning best picture, it's a film that truly worth that award and worth watching.
When Father When Away On Business is historical, political, and romance in a perfect combination in such a quality film. This is truly worth a watch.
Quite restrained for Kusturica. I imagine it being semi-autobiographical
This film is dealing with the period when Communism was introduced to Yugoslavia and show us how that affected a family living at Sarajevo. We watch the story from a young child's perspective, who's father has been imprisoned because of his political beliefs. The movie is very well structured and leaves us a sweet - bitter taste of nostalgia about Tito and that period in general, plus it analyses the family relationships and the family violence from which the characters will never escape.
I queued this because it is one of the winners of the Palme d'Or I have not yet seen, and it has been an interesting journey to see the difference between what the US thinks is a great film and what the rest of the world thinks is a great film. I don't know if "When Father Was Away on Business" is a great movie, but it is a pretty darned good one. The political situation is a main character floating in the background, and I wish I knew more about post-WWII Yugoslavia to better appreciate it.