Cine Europa 13 [2010] : Vratne Lahve

As planned, Jonathan, Neil and I went to the Cine Europa 2010. Neil thought it as a way to celebrate my 23rd birthday. Actually it’s the second time for me and Neil to catch this event, if my memory serves me right we watched “The Duchess” from the same event last year.

But before we claimed our couches and enjoyed the film, there are so many bloopers happened like spending almost an hour in the line without thinking to drop by the ticket concierge to get some tix, that made Jonathan and I as one of the “chance passengers”. ; Neil got the last tix of the film, so he was able to reserve us some seats [which is by the way, so hard to find], while Jonathan, I and the rest of the “chance passengers” will have to wait for several minutes outside the theater. The concierge staff has to make sure that they’re able to accommodate all delegates and lucky peeps with tix.

To cut the story short, we ended up enjoying the simple storyline of the film, despite of missing subtitles, we’re able to grasp the whole story.  The problem is we don’t know the title. It’s written only in Czech and the subtitle appeared after first 2 minutes of the film. Well, I just ended up checking the event’s poster and google it. Thus the title Is “Vratne Lahve” [Empties].

I don’t know the actors, screenwriter and  director’s name but I do appreciate the film. The premise is about Josef Tkaloun,  a teacher at a high school in Prague  who cannot control his anger when his pupils misbehave in his poetry class. He quits his job and despite his wife urging him to retire, becomes a cycle courier. After the inevitable accident, he still refuses to stay at home and takes a job in the local supermarket. He works behind a counter, taking the used glass beer bottles and empty plastic water bottles, giving a receipt to the customers which they can redeem at the cashier. He begins to flirt with the customers and matchmake both for an old friend and for the man he works with. His own flirtations [and amusingly lurid dreams] almost get him into trouble with his wife, so he resolves to reignite the passion in his marriage by celebrating his wedding anniversary with a hot air balloon ride. As can be expected, things do not go completely to plan.

I have this two favorite plot points of the film, First is long montage of Josef, talking to her customers then later exchanges info to his workmates to boost their confidence and got matched with some of their customers, one got married and other one were dumped but got a thrilling “math lessons” every week. The second one are those scenes of the couple accidentally stuck in a hot air balloon. Josef is so calm and proud to show to her wife the green plains of Czech, telling to her wife to be calm and enjoy the scenery; at least she enjoyed something special before they die. Before this plot point happened, there a scene where Josef’s wife talks about how a male swan stays alone and loyal after it’s better half die. Then she asked Josef what he will do if she dies.  While their over the green plains, wildly dragged by the winds, the wife asked Josef why he is so calm despite of being stuck on air, he only answered back “If I’m going to die, I would like to die with you” , sweet and well delivered[ you’ll be hearing some of the audiences go on awe] . Also, one of my fave funny point is while the couple we’re trapped in a hot air balloon sinking in the middle of river, both have to figure out how to ignite the engine, luckily his husband owns a lighter, thus he discovered that his wife secretly smokes . When he asked his wife why she smokes, she told him that she want to die first, she don’t want to be a widow and be the rest of the Czech women, visiting their husband graves on their late 50-60’s. And when she were asked for her basis , she just answered “Statistics”.

The plausible script and humane setting made it possible for the film to show some points of our society like being judgmental, how we assume on things, confidence vs doubt, technology and respect.

This film is very funny and moving – in a best way possible. [It’s like I’m watching a serious version of “The Community]. I like how scenes are made almost ultimately believable, as every scene and every bit of the dialog is taken from life. Everyone in the theater started laughing shortly after the beginning and continued throughout the film till the final credits. Everyone was leaving the screening with a great smile on the face, filled with pleasant thoughts.

Try to check Cine Europa 2010 if you have some free time, it’ll run until the 19th of this month. Interested? here’s the schedule of the whole run 😀

Anyway, we ended up having dinner  and did some catching up, from my dad’s health, to their facial, Jonathan’s new account up to my first time to judge a school completion which by the way would be my next post [and next project..thanks to neil]


So that’s for now guys.

So Till Then and Godbless


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One response

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    May 5, 2011 at 6:47 am

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