A pair of human smugglers accidentally take off with the baby of one of the immigrants they dropped off inside the Czech republic. They bring the baby to a pawn shop, where it is subsequently sold to a woman who is so desperate to have a child that she tries to abduct someone else’s. Her husband is soccer hooligan trying to go straight. He might not be the sharpest knife in the drawer, but he recognizes trouble when he sees it. Meanwhile, the mother of the baby has sought help with a refugee…agency, which is run by a woman whose long-time lover has a brain tumour, and would finally like a divorce from his long-separated wife.
And so it goes – a series of widely disparate (and frequently desperate) characters whose lives are connected by chance. The effect is not altogether unlike the coincidences that knit the characters of Robert Altman movies together, though the tone varies more. There are some very funny moments here (often involving the soccer fan), but plenty of human pain and drama, too.
This is a dialogue-driven film, and the surround sound effects are rare as hen’s teeth. The dialogue is very clear and there is no distortion, no matter how raised voices become. The music, when present, is given a solid enough mix, though the rear-speaker presence remains relatively muted.
A very nice 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen transfer. The colours are very strong, and the palette is rich, creating rather eye-popping contrasts. The image is as sharp as one could hope for, and there is no grain or edge enhancement visible. A great job all around.
Not much, but there is a (subtitled) making-of featurette, which is already more than one gets on many foreign releases. There is also the trailer and a music video – “Hello America” by Dan Barta. The menu is basic.
A very solid presentation of a strong, committed movie. The viewing may not be light, but it is emphatically worthwhile.
Special Features List
- Making-of Featurette
- Music Video
- Theatrical Trailer