DVD Review: CIRKUS COLUMBIA
After the fall of the communist regime in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1991, Divko Buntic (Miki Manojlovic) returns to his former home after a 20 year exile in Germany. Returning with an attractive young girlfriend, a flashy new Mercedes, a pocketful of cash, and a lucky black cat, things are looking good for Divko. When his cat goes missing things begin to fall apart: his relationships with his girlfriend and his estranged son are strained, while the entire town scrambles to find his cat to collect the cash reward. Divko’s personal tumult finds an unsettling mirror in the country at large with signs appearing that the Bosnain war is coming. As the war looms, tensions run high and Divko must decide whether to stay in his newly reestablished home or leave.
CIRKUS COLUMBIA comes to us from Danis Tanovic, best known for his Oscar winning foreign language film NO MAN’S LAND. This particular film doesn’t exactly stand up to the director’s Oscar winning film but it is still a well made film. Divko’s estranged son Martin and ex-wife Lucija are featured in the film as more the type of character’s you root for. Jelena Stupljanin portrays Divko’s new young girlfriend Azra. The ex-wife is portrayed by Mira Furlan who is best known for her work on the hit television series LOST as Danielle Rousseau.
I just somewhat enjoyed this film. For the most part, the film moves at a very slow pace which just becomes boring. The boredom leaves a bit once Martin makes a move on his father’s girlfriend in a random moment of lust. From then on, you feel this tension between everyone especially with the war well on it’s way to the city. Luckily, Martin, Lucija and a lovestruck Azra make it out of the city in time to just miss being caught in the war. There is a very odd relationship between the foursome that star in this film. Divko is the over bearing harsh father who shows compassion in the much needed moment but you don’t ever feel sympathy for his character. He walks around all big and tough like being completely rude to most of the people around him. The characters you do end up liking are Martin and his mother. Once Martin initiates the relationship with Azra, you start to find yourself rooting for them to get together in the end even though there is a slight age difference; Martin is still only about 15-years-old.
Overall, this film is just too slow for my taste. There isn’t a whole lot of meat to the story and we really don’t get to know any particular character enough. But if you are a fan of foreign language film, then I would still see this film, it can give you a good feel of how some people lived during the Bosnian War. You can watch CIRKUS COLUMBIA on Netflix.
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