Thursday, October 13, 2011
It’s World War 2 (again) and when the Nazis invade Czechoslovakia , Emil a local journalist agrees to read out German Propaganda on Prague Radio to protect Hana his Jewish wife. You think she’d be grateful for this but she’s rather a cold fish who shows little emotion to Emil, and has an affair and carries on recklessly disbelieving that the politicaL system will degenerate, and her very life will be at risk, under the Nazis.
At the beginning of the story Hana, in a startling blond wig is on the throes of becoming a movie star, and when that life falls apart, she uses the wig to try to pass as a Aryan. It doesn’t work, and as her ‘star’ falls, her husband's rises and he becomes a broadcast celebrity as he drifts into collaborating with the Nazis to save his wife.
This Czech movie that swept the Awards Board ……….in Czechoslovakia, is a melodrama that somehow doesn’t catch fire. On one hand there is some highly stylized shots, and the tinting of an almost monochromatic picture with hints of colour is a very definite plus. If only this movie was as good as it looks it would be sensational. And the subject matter in itself deserves leading characters with more depth (Hana) and with more logic (Emil) to really engage one fully.