Dec 27, 2011

Traktor, ljubezen in Rock'n'roll, 2008

Traktor, ljubezen in Rock'n'roll, 2008
Director: Branko Đurić
Cast: Tanja Ribič, Branko Đurić, Ludvik Bagari

Stage: Local theatre, late evening screening

Traktor in short:

The script of TRAKTOR, LJUBEZEN IN ROCK'N'ROLL was written on the basis of a novel entitled VANKOŠTANC whose main story unfolds in the north-eastern part of Slovenia, namely in the Prekmurje region situated on the border with Hungary, which is characterised by the Hungarian national minority, the unique blend of Hungarian and Slovene traditional culture, the Roma music and the famous Hungarian goulash called bograc, and where the division between the Slovene and Hungarian nations has been watered down through history.

The plot is set in the early 60s. Breza, a country boy from a godforsaken Prekmurje village, wishes to perform at the village festivities playing his electric guitar, but is faced with fierce competition in the form of a traditional Roma band entertaining the villagers by playing popular folk music. Nevertheless, his music seems to be the key to the heart of Silvija, a village beauty and the daughter of a wealthy gastarbeiter from Switzerland, who was sent home to find a healthy Slovene husband. However, the story of Breza and Silvija only marks the beginning of the plot whose main character is actually Düplin, an eccentric outsider, a deaf-and-dumb tramp or, as Breza's mother, the old Popovka, a farm owner and a fortune-teller also referred to as Strina, called him "a lad from a citrus producing country".

Preps: the hot cake in the oven. The notorious movie that couldn't get sponsors. And I am a huge fan of Đuro, who in this case also casts, not only directs. How good can it get?

Reality: Well, as seen several times, all great people in cinematography, directors in perticular, have their bad or worse moments. After seeing several Đurić masterpieces I am terribly dissappointed in this one. It's so average that I cannot believe it. I am now sure why he hasn't received sponsors (this is why we can see this in 2011 instead of 2008, when the movie was really made.). In any case, the plot is simple to follow. A simple guy with a dream wants to succeed as a rock star. Unfortunately, living in a small village around 70 corners (I mean really far far away land), doesn't give much of freedom in creating and can be quite limiting. In some sense, this was the case for most musicians around the world, however, in this perticular case it's really domestic. I believe that slovene audience will definitely show some patriotism in seeing this piece and will compare the historical belief they have (this derives from classes in junior high), with the screened reality.
I believe a great effort was made to copy genuine language and even as a slovenian I cannot say that they have done a great job, because I simply don't know and need to believe Đurić perspective or his side of the coin. There are several different versions of slovene language, in this case he chose the most abstract one. The one noone in Slovenia understands without subtitles. And in this suburban scene he pointed out the difficulty to survive and to grow personally. Because of preserving a life and trying on a farm, hardly possible.

The life as depicted must be like it was. It is breathtaking. And the philosophy of grabbing the first guy, that is willing to marry you, is simply devastating. In this sense, the movie is a perfect example of history shown on screen. But in the real sense, the energy between the actors, the witty scenes (are lacking!!), the lack of the next step that would make me alert the whole time while watching.. I am used of Đurić movies on the different level (higher) than the one shown here. And I am sure he could do a better job. Where is the conclusion in scenes? Where is the dramatic effect we are used to? Deriving from things he does best is perfectly shown in this piece. And I guess it proves one more time, that being a genious in cast and a genious in directing a movie, can turn into something quite average, when one wants to be both. So.. I don't recommend it, because it is more shallow than you would ever expect and below Branko's standard.

My personal rate: 5,0 (for the sake of slovenian audience, I mean that his true fans will see this, being a good piece or not. But to be fair, it's an average example of what I could have seen at home and not at the movies)

Traktor, ljubezen in rock'n'roll

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