Review: ‘Terrace on the Roof’

The loneliness of aging is worsened by the sadness and alienation of the civil war in Yugoslavia in "Terrace on the Roof," a mini-budgeted directorial bow by top scriptwriter Gordan Mihic, who has written films for Emir Kusturica, Goran Paskaljevic and others. Too repetitive and unfocused to rouse much offshore interest outside festivals, its main virtue is its eccentric trio of characters, wistfully longing for a better life.

The loneliness of aging is worsened by the sadness and alienation of the civil war in Yugoslavia in “Terrace on the Roof,” a mini-budgeted directorial bow by top scriptwriter Gordan Mihic, who has written films for Emir Kusturica, Goran Paskaljevic and others. Too repetitive and unfocused to rouse much offshore interest outside festivals, its main virtue is its eccentric trio of characters, wistfully longing for a better life.

Timorous hypochondriac Ratko (Marko Nikolic) and fearless giant Krekich (Petar Bozovic) are rooftop neighbors, whose settled if empty lives are overturned by the arrival of a breezy young girl, Andja (Ivana Mihic) in the empty apartment next door. But their revived dreams of love are short-lived, as Ratko’s jealousy and Krekich’s army duty tear the happy threesome apart.

Carefully written but haphazardly shot — and timed like a stage play — story doesn’t have enough meat on its bones to sustain interest to the end. Cast is left a little too free to be kinky (Mihic), misogynist (Bozovic) and fastidious (Nikolic), without any contrasting traits to round out their characters. Ratko’s concern with the rise of crime, chaos and insecurity was much more powerfully expressed in last year’s TV drama “Diary of Insults,” scripted by Mihic and starring Nikolic.

Terrace on the Roof

(SERBIAN)

Production

An RTV Serbia/TV Novi Sad/Viktorija Film production. (International sales: Viktorija Film, Belgrade.) Directed, written by Gordan Mihic. Camera (color), Aleksandar Petkovic,; editor, Dragoljub-Bata Vojvodic; music, Zoran Simjanovic; art direction, Dragoljub Ivkov; costume design, Tatjana Korac. Reviewed at Belgrade Film Festival, Jan. 31, 1996. Running time:? 110 MIN.

With

With: Ivana Mihic, Marko Nikolic, Petar Bozovic.
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