Monday, 30 March 2009
Rarely does one get to watch a movie with such a fascinating blend of irreverence and nostalgia like Emir Kusturica’s imperious masterpiece Underground. Through the absurd exploits of its three unpredictable protagonists – the flamboyant Blacky, the intellectual Marco, and the beautiful Natalija, and a host of other colourful characters, Kusturica has painted a whimsical, outrageously farcical and deliriously exuberant recreation of the erstwhile Yugoslavia’s devastating history from being a Nazi-occupied territory during World War II, through Communist regime during Cold War, to the ugly Balkan Wars that resulted in the disintegration of the country along ethnic lines. On the surface the movie might seem like a vaudeville with its surrealistic images and carnival atmosphere, but scratch a little and you have a movie of epic proportions with a deeply tragic statement on the ludicrous and destructive nature of war where “brother kills a brother.” The acting is gleefully over the top, the trumpet-dominated score is brilliant, and the screenplay an original and freewheeling expression of artistic freedom. At once a black comedy and a grim tragedy, Underground begins with a thumping procession, twists and twirls through madcap adventures, and ends spectacularly in the land of Utopia. As an afterthought, the "underground" aspect of the movie might have been the inspiration for Goodbye, Lenin.
Director: Emir Kusturica
Genre: Comedy/Drama/Black Comedy/Political Satire/Avant-Garde/Experimental/Historical Epic/War