The waxworks of a city unknown
picture source: http://twitchfilm.com/2016/02/berlinale-2016-review-we-are-never-alone-delivers-a-powerful-harrowing-and-way-too-vivid-parable.html
The film „We are not alone“ offers a very interesting look into the lives of the people, who could be our neighbours, acquaintances, or total strangers that we sometimes see on the street or in a grocery shop.
The story is set in a small town where the fates of our main characters interwine – an unemployed hypochondriac (played by Karel Roden), who is living off his wife (Lenka Vlasáková), a vendor in a local store, a paranoid prison employee (Miroslav Hanuš), a pimp (Zdeněk Godla) and a stripper (Klaudia Dudová). From the list of protagonists alone, a keen reader can easily deduce that this film is not a comedy, but rather a social drama.
Social drama is not exactly a relaxing genre, so when watching this film, I sometimes felt as if I was struggling to find my way in a desert against the dry wind which blew bits of sand into my eyes. This feeling was only being reinforced by the constant changes in the film’s colour; greyscale and coloured – the logic of these switches, even after I gave it some thought, still escapes me.
The film leaves a strong impression. It is very well made (direction and screenplay by Petr Václav), for it burrows deep under the viewers‘ skin. The protagonists quickly grow on you and you can easily relate to their hopelessness, anger, worries or even their desperation.
I have to give the film credit for brilliant petrformances made by its cast. My respect goes to Karel Roden, who does not choose to star only in the great blockbusters and foreign production, but also in the art segment of the film industry. His portrayal was absolutely believeable – even though it was constantly on the verge of comedy and self-parody, it still retained its seriousness. Lenka Vlasáková, femme fatale from the picture „Women in temptation“, ably assists Karel Roden as an acting partner. I would also like to mention the performance of Miroslav Hanuš, who – a kind reader will forgive – stinks right through the silver screen, which is only further enhanced by his hate and bitterness. Zdeněk Godla changes many times throughout the film – from an aggressive, hotheaded pimp to an amorous man capable of anything. Klaudia Dudová will surely not disappoint the men in the viewers seats.
Children also play a significant part in the film, just as the child actors managed to nail their roles just right – so right, in fact, that I refused to watch some scenes because of their content.
In conclusion, desperate people do desperate things, we do not choose our parents and do not pick up everything you find out in the woods.
I personally think that the film will recieve some more awards to add next to the one already won at Berlinale, but it’s not exactly everyone’s cup of tea.
Translated by Mikuláš Dušátko, Kvinta A