Film review: the last aristocrat (2019)

Waters of the river that flow at a very deliberate pace are called oil. And that would have been the last aristocrat if it had been a river. The narrative pace progresses very deliberately; The expected fall of the chandelier will also take a long time. Fortunately, however, there is a Kastellan Josef who will say something dry after a bit of Saturnin, and most employees have solid performances. In the end, the new film by director Jiří Vejdělek after the bestseller Evžen Boček is a pleasant break.

It is the year 1996 and the descendant of the Czech emigrant Frank Kostka, or if we want the Count František Kostka from Kostka, finally gets a family home in the return. This confiscated his family’s pre-November regime. He was born in the United States shortly after his parents’ arrival. He is much more New Yorker than Czech. His wife and daughter have nothing in common with the Czech Republic at all, perhaps only with their ancestors, as it turns out later.

Lord of the castle without money

At first glance, it looks like good news. The lawyer finally managed to save Kostka Castle, so buy all the tickets and hurry up to look for roots. Frank also has to keep his promise and bury all of his deceased relatives where they belong. However, the cost of transporting more than a dozen urns is somewhat high. Fortunately, the tin cans are just the right size. It is a pity that director Vejdělek at this moment could not resist using the perhaps most proven cliché with the loss of ashes. But back to Frank. Although he is a Central European nobleman, he certainly does not drown in the money. Only a lawyer’s advance devoured all of his savings, including the daughter’s study fund, the third name. However, as it turns out, paying the lawyer isn’t the biggest problem. Much of the castle has been completely destroyed, but only parts of the route are well preserved. The rest soon seems to be left to the new owners. With the castle, the new family of counts from Kostka also has three very special employees – the castellan Josef, the housekeeper Tichá and the hypochondriac gardener Krásu.

All three work together to ensure that as few visitors as possible come to the castle. Castellan calls her mouflon and claims it is harmful. And in general, he has no intention of engaging more than he is healthy. “Who is the mail for?” Asks Josef Kostky when they find a stack of unopened official letters in the office. “Kostka State Castle. I definitely have no intention of opening something that is not for me. And you shouldn’t … ”, he explains. It is perhaps not surprising that Kostka is full of emotions even in the midst of his relaxed family property, but his wife Vivien is not enthusiastic about spending the night in an unheated castle on the eve of Christmas. Like a young Mary, although her situation had improved somewhat through a handsome young nobleman, Max, son of a nearby property owner. In addition, there is a very unfriendly staff and a castellan who can hardly touch anything. There doesn’t seem to be a bright future for the family on Cube. Especially if Vivien plans to open a hairdresser in Manhattan for the money raised from the sale of the castle.

Vilhelm is waiting for a sentence

Evžen Boček’s last aristocrat is a real hit in the Czech Republic. No wonder that many filmmakers wanted to make it. After several postponements, the choice fell on Jiří Vejdělek, who no longer has to convince anyone that he has to do a comedy. Although his film language is a little independent and not everyone has to like this kind of storytelling. Here, too, the time in the film advances with a small step, and most of the important things happen only through smaller gags and not through a coherent story. But Vejdělek – with the great contribution of cameraman Vladimír Smutný – can work very well with painting. The crew visited five castles for the film, and Sad Interior complements the exterior shots of the castle from different perspectives, views and perspectives very well. Maybe filming on snow creates a peaceful, almost Christmas-like holiday atmosphere in which you can relax in the cinema.

At the same time, the sad work with the camera is very sober, it does not experiment unnecessarily with pictures, but simply relies on a beautiful picture. Almost the same goes for Hynek Cermak in the leading role of Frank Kostka. At a press conference on the film, he said the role was relaxing for him. “I’m more of a cube than a rough bull. So I didn’t really have to play anything, ”he said. In fact, for most of the film, it looks natural to actually experience the role. Even at the moment, as a cube, she spends a whole day freezing cold in anticipation of the first visitors. Yvona Stolařová, a young daughter in the role of her daughter Marie, steps in front of the camera with remarkable ease. He has been looking for a representative of this role for a long time, and it has to be said that patience was worth it. If Stolařová’s commitment continues, a new Czech film star may be born. Your natural behavior is definitely a scarce commodity.

In a gray wig, Eliška Balzerová traditionally played the housekeeper Tichá, as always Pavel Liška in the role of beauty, and Martin Pechlát. He was transformed into a Castellan Joseph, who is credited with the role of a distant, somewhat headstrong glossary. Perhaps thanks to occasional comments with a hint of dry English humor, we can accidentally remember the famous Saturnin. Thanks to her performance, the Last Aristocrat is a fairly successful film. It is not a comedy in which the hall roars with laughter, but a pleasant film with a series of funny moments. Tatiana Dyková (Vilhelmová), who plays Vivien, will also score well. Most of the film looks a bit spasmodic, as if it weren’t in the role, but in the end she says the one sentence she could have been waiting for from the start.

FILM: LAST ARISTOCRATKA

director: Jiří Vejdělek
Scenario: Jiří Vejdělek; Book by: Evžen Boček
processing: Ondrej Hokr Ondrej Hokr
Camera: Vladimír Smutný
Volume: Michal Pajdiak
Occupation: Hynek Cermak, Tatiana Dykova, Yvona Stolařová, Martin Pechlát, Eliška Balzerová, Pavel Liska, Vojtěch Kotek, Zdeněk Piskula, Tatiana Pauhofová, Zdenka Procházková, Petr Nárožný, Dana Syslová

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