Review: ‘Mi Nismo Andjeli’

Good and Evil slug it out in "We Are Not Angels," an Avala Film comedy featuring a rock-and-rolling devil and angel. Serbian pic's somewhat forced surrealism feels appropriate enough, considering the conditions under which it must have been made. It topped the Belgrade box office in 1992, just ahead of Goran Paskaljevic's "Tango Argentina," but looks trivial for fest use.

Good and Evil slug it out in “We Are Not Angels,” an Avala Film comedy featuring a rock-and-rolling devil and angel. Serbian pic’s somewhat forced surrealism feels appropriate enough, considering the conditions under which it must have been made. It topped the Belgrade box office in 1992, just ahead of Goran Paskaljevic’s “Tango Argentina,” but looks trivial for fest use.

Helmer Srdjan Dragojevic is entertainingly cynical in the well-made yarn about a spacey teenage fashion student (Milena Pavlovic) who succeeds in bringing confirmed swinger Nikola Kojo to the altar. He can’t even remember their one-night stand.

When Pavlovic discovers she’s expecting, she and her best friend devise a series of impossible schemes to capture first the attention, then the heart and bachelorhood of the rake. The fact that Kojo finally puts aside girls, parties, drugs and booze to become a father has little logic, but the story is pleasantly told.

Technical work is pro throughout, whole cast included, and filmers are tops in making a small budget go a long way. A coke-sniffing devil and effeminate angel are meant to be outrageous, pairing up in 1960s rock numbers. Film buffs will note with a jolt a joke thrown in by two boys humming a gypsy theme, who delight that “Kusta (Bosnian filmmaker Emir Kusturica) is back at work in the States.”

Mi Nismo Andjeli

Production

A Yes Avala Film Intl. DD Production. (International sales: Vans, Belgrade.) Produced by Ranko Petric, Gojko Kastratovic. Executive producer, Miodrag Djordjevic. Directed, written by Srdjan Dragojevic. Camera (color), Dusan Joksimovic; editor, Branka Ceperac; music, Vampiri; art direction, Aleksandar Denic; sound, Marko Rodic. Reviewed on vidcassette, Rome, Jan. 9, 1994. Running time:98 MIN.
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