A box office success back home, "Dangerous Summer" wants to become Latvia's answer to "Titanic" by serving up a tragic love story cloaked in epic grandeur. However, pic is unlikely to jerk tears abroad given its stereotypical characters and slack plotting.

A box office success back home, “Dangerous Summer” wants to become Latvia’s answer to “Titanic” by serving up a tragic love story cloaked in epic grandeur. However, pic is unlikely to jerk tears abroad given its stereotypical characters and slack plotting. Although costumes and set dressing look good, the modest budget (admittedly big by Baltic standards) stretches only to a cast of hundreds, limiting its potential for Hollywood-style spectacle. Best option is to target older, upscale auds fascinated by WWII period drama.

Just just days before the Soviet Union invades Latvia in 1940,rebellious radio broadcaster Roberts (Arturs Skrastins) falls for Izolde (Inese Cauna), a German national about to be repatriated to the Fatherland. But her protector, the Latvian foreign minister (Uldis Dumpis), who is in league with the Soviets to shanghai the national savings deposited abroad, tries to foil the romance. Panned by some domestic critics for its historical inaccuracies, film still works best as a pop history lesson, while the nostalgic look at the golden days of radio has a retro charm. Direction is bombastic, but other tech credits are fine.

Dangerous Summer

Latvia

Production

A Platforma Filma production, in association with Latvias Neatkariga Televizija, Latvias Nacionalais Kinematografijas Centrs, Latvias Kulturkapitala Fonds, Latvias Kulturas Fonds, A/S Aldaris, Rada Filmu. (International sales: Platforma Filma, Riga.) Produced by Andrejs Ekis. Directed by Aigars Grauba. Screenplay by Pauls Bankovskis, Gabis , Janis Leja, Andrejs Ekis, Grauba.

Crew

Camera (color), Gints Berzins; editors, S. Elksnt, A. Bisofs; music, Ugis Praulins; production designer, Martins Milbrets. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (Focus on Baltic Film), July 6, 2003. Latvian & Russian dialogue. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Uldis Dumpis, Arturs Skrastins, Inese Cauna, Janis Reinis, Eduards Pavuls.
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