24.11.2016 16:28

Review: The snake brothers

Autor: Veronika Batelková | Kurz: English section | Kategorie: Features and other

Recently, I have been disappointed by the most of Czech films. But finally, an exception has appeared. Its name is The Snake Brothers and it’s a comedy drama about two brothers’ lives.

The story is based on Jaroslav Žváček’s screenplay and it has become a breakthrough in director’s (Jan Prušinovský) career. He was known as a director of Czech comedies such as “The Rafters” or “Okresní přebor”, but in The Snake Brothers, he tried something new – social drama that is full of jokes, but its main topic is tragic. I think it was a successful experiment.

The main characters, who are two brothers, are played by actual siblings – Kryštof and Matěj Hádek. Maybe that is the reason of the name of this film, because “Hádek” can be translated as “a little snake”. These brothers have nicknames Kobra (Cobra) and Užovka (Grass Snake).

Užovka (Matěj Hádek) is shown as a lonely 40 years old man without any goals in life. Kobra is his willful younger brother – a thief and a drug user. Užovka must help him with his problems all the time and give him money, because he doesn’t want to let his brother steal so much.

An ex-schoolmate Láďa (Jan Máj) offers him a job in his new clothes shop. Matěj accepts it and everything starts to look better. There is only one matter that he mustn’t be interested in – boxes of shoes. They contain illegally smuggled pills which Láďa sells. Everything looks okay until Kobra robs the boxes…

The scenes are suggestive and intense, they are also impressive and thrilling. However, some of them are excessive, I think. They’re showing us character’s personalities again and again, so we see that Kobra is irreparable, Užovka gives another wasted chance to everybody, their mother is alcoholic, grandma is naive etc. over and over again. These scenes are funny but without a new predictive value. On the other hand, there are some details which are just mentioned and it’s a pity they aren’t described more.

I must apperciate the acting. There was a lot of scenes that could have been played too emotionally, but Matěj Hádek stayed civil. And Kryštof excelled with his gestures and with his body language. The main praise though is for technical side. I enjoyed camera “driving” and the places with a right atmosphere.

I would like to recommend this film to everybody who wants to see something more than blockbuster. This is one of a few movies where you realize: “Oh my God, why am I actually laughing at this?"   

Klíčová slova: film, movie, snake brothers, review, drama


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