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Na mlecnom putu (On The Milky Road) Movie Review (Venice Film Festival 2016)

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Na mlecnom putu (On The Milky Road) Movie Review (Venice Film Festival 2016)

Title: Na mlecnom putu (On The Milky Road)

Director: Emir Kusturica

Starring: Emir Kusturica, Monica Bellucci, Sloboda Mi?alovi?, Predrag Manojlovi?.

The acclaimed Serbian filmmaker, Emir Kusturica, leads us through a tale that has a flavour of Aesop’s Fables, with the ancestral mystique of the milky way. The film’s premise is that it is based on three real stories…and fantasies. This is the core of ‘Na mle?nom putu’ (On the milky road): brutal reality mixes with a world of fantasy.

The setting is strong, we are at war, and follow the turmoils of the conflict through different fragments of time in the life of Kosta (Emir Kusturica), a milkman who used to be a musician before the war. He now spends his days crossing the frontline on a donkey, dodging bullets to bring his precious wares to the soldiers.

Kosta is fondly loved by a bubbly and gymnastic Milena (Sloboda Mi?alovi?), but his life will change with the arrival of a mysterious beautiful Italian woman (Monica Bellucci) who is promised to Milena’s brother. Thus begins a story of passionate, forbidden love that will plunge them both into a series of fantastic and dangerous adventures.

The cast has a remarkable scenic presence, also in the moments where no words are muttered; and Monica Bellucci proves to be a terrific actress performing in Serbian. ‘On The milky Road’ has moments that will tickle you pink for the way the characters are portrayed – at times they seem marionettes moved by an invisible puppeteer. Emir Kusturica, besides having an incredible talent in handling the camera and guiding his actors, flaunts his talents as a skilled performer.

The poetry of the modern (and simultaneously timeless) fairytale, is the way nature assumes the role of protagonist. Several are the animals who accompany Kosta’s routine and adventures: a hawk, a donkey and a snake. They all have a distinguished personality, without becoming anthropomorphic they maintain the intelligence of influential pets. They roam through the wilderness and always watch Kosta’s back. Hence, Mother Nature gains an active role within the human conflict, as it tries to restore order.

Kusturica is very effective in showing us the flaws of mankind through the eyes of the natural world, striking every key of human emotion as if he were playing a harpsichord in an “Andante moderato.”

Technical: A

Acting: A

Story: A

Overall: A

Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

Na mlecnom putu (On The Milky Road) Movie Review (Venice Film Festival 2016)

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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