“We were all somebody and something once.” ~HELENA (Ana Karic) reminding Jakov (Radko Polic) that even though they’re all stuck in a nursing home, the stigma and perception that unfortunately comes along with it shouldn’t define them.
Today’s New Release: NIGHT BOATS
This is a lovely little story out of Croatia about two senior citizens -unfortunately stuck in a nursing home- who are eternally young at heart. Meet Jakov Kotnik (Polic, who joyously comes across as Croatia’s John Lithgow/ Alan Alda), a defiant dementia patient with a bad leg, an even worse pill regimen, and an imagination both colorfully vibrant and specifically select. He’s just been admitted into a nursing home against his will, where in the elevator, he catches a glimpse of Helena (Karic, who took home the *Golden Arena Award for this very performance at the 2012 Pula Film Festival), who too is not thrilled to be there, but nevertheless IS due to a financially philandering son who took everything from her in her twilight years. At first, the two inch into friendship like a couple of unsure 14-year-old lab partners in an unwanted science class, but through Jakov’s rogue charm and Helena’s giggly smile, they soon become attached at the hip, much to the chagrin of their fellow nursing home residents; I mean come ON, get on the same page!! Everyone has to be equally miserable here! Right?? Try telling that to these two, you curmudgeons! In fact, Jakov is so tired of waiting to die like Helena’s Harvey Fierstein-sounding roommate Mrs. Tonka for example (I know, she says a total of two words… but LISTEN), that he talks Helena into running away with him to the seaside. With limited money, but a wealthy helping of gall and gumption, they sneak off. Will either of them frightfully regret it, or boldly embrace the uncertainty? Yes… and yes!
This dramatic light comedy was so beloved at the 2012 Bombay International Film Festival, that it took home the *Celebrate Age Award for Best Film, “for providing a rich, cinematic expression of characters who come alive in a way so magnificently vibrant- you can’t wait to get old!” The most important element of the movie, though, is the one person helping the other feel independent, capable, and relevant in a youth-driven society. Despite the comedic charm of getting older, there is an equally unescapable sadness to it, and it is explored here to full effect. I’ll say this film has a remarkable twist ending, which after watching 6 times, I believe I finally “got.” Let’s just say there happens to be a parallel to yesterday’s conclusion to SQUID MAN, regarding a “death” that allows someone else to move on. Man… two days in a row! NIGHT BOATS, like SQUID MAN, is truly hitting that meta note!
Directed by Igor Mirkovic
Starring: Ana Karic, Radko Polic, Renata Ulmanski, Lana Baric, Bogdan Diklic, Marija Geml, Mirna Medakovic, Zvonimir Torjanac, Krunoslav Belko
Tagline: Their Last Dance Is Their First Chance At True Romance