Kolya is a Czechoslovak
film about a bachelor musician called Louka who is about to experience an
event that would change his life. He is about to become a foster parent for a
Russian boy dropped on his doorstep after his grandmother (his carer) dies
whilst his mother is home bound in her native Russia because of regulations.
Firstly this confirmed
bachelor agrees to an arranged marriage so that he could allow the mother of
the child to stay in Prague. This does not work out as intended and the
mother leaves to go back to Russia. The boy (Kolya) is left with his Russian
Grandmother who dies from a stroke and it is up to Czech authorities to find a
caretaker for the boy. The most logical procedure of course, whilst the boy
is in Czechoslovakia is to hand him over to Louka the husband of the mother.
Louka is suddenly given no option but to care for the boy. At first the
bachelor does not take well to the idea of sharing his home. After a while
and a few dramas that would strengthen their bond they become family and the
two begin to go about their lives as if they had always been that way. Soon
the boy learns the language of Czech and after the language barrier is
overcome, the two go on camping adventures as well as attending the rather
grim workplace of Louka, the funeral crematorium.
With a rather slow and
tedious start to the film where there was meant to be humour involved. Maybe
there was, but none that caught my attention. The Czech humour like Russian
and German is very dry and will easily go over the heads of any Western
viewer. To those who can appreciate this form of humour you would undoubtedly
love this film. Because of the subject matter and the charm in the film it
could be said that female viewers would enjoy Kolya. Themes of the development
of the main characters, Louka and Kolya involve understanding and allowance
for growth in their lives. Soon Louka becomes more like a father to the boy
and thinks about others before himself. His girlfriend is one of the first to
notice this and it is not long before the pair are best buddies.
The Europeans enjoy a
little hank panky frequently in their cinema and this movie is no exception.
Being a bachelor musician has it’s perks I suppose and Louka has a series of
romances before and during the early stages of Kolya’s care. Ladies much
younger than Louka seem to come knocking for lessons with an underlying
agenda. Apparent whilst the lesson is given “You like large instruments do
you?” is the other reason for why women come for a bit of “tuition”.
If you love foreign cinema
and liked Much about a Boy or other film like this then this film would come
recommended to all aficionados with an amenity for foreign film. Whilst it
does say that Kolya is a comedy unfortunately for those not affiliated with
East European humour would not enjoy the film.
The special Features
discuss the making of Kolya which gives interesting insight into how it was
made. Interestingly the young boy chosen to be Kolya would not stop being
happy even though he was playing the part of a sad abandoned kid. Other
details such as discussion of choice of actors, problems in production are
talked about in detail. It is a shame the film is a little overly dull because
the dialogue and pacing of the film is too slow to inspire a lot of interest
in the viewer. I could not bear the first few scenes of the film because it
was just not interesting. Maybe not enough intrigue and the fact that the
type of film has been done so often before. Big Daddy being another similar
movie without the slapstick humour. Yep this film is certainly in need of a
boost of adrenaline and overall I give it a six.