Review: ‘Waterloo Czech Style’

Five short laffers featuring the labored comic stylings of actor Jiri Krampol comprise "Waterloo Czech Style," the first fiction feature in nearly a decade from vet actor-turned-documaker-turned-helmer Vit Olmer. It's straight to TV for this in most territories, where the anthology nature of the proceedings will make the time pass more quickly.

Five short laffers featuring the labored comic stylings of actor Jiri Krampol comprise “Waterloo Czech Style,” the first fiction feature in nearly a decade from vet actor-turned-documaker-turned-helmer Vit Olmer. It’s straight to TV for this in most territories, where the anthology nature of the proceedings will make the time pass more quickly.

In “French Triple Combination” a rich, bored wife contemplates cheating on her driven, overachieving husband, while “The Halo” finds Krampol as a sly hard-of-hearing pensioner. He’s an aging rock percussionist who fights off an intruder in “Drum Solo,” a well-meaning seaside busy-body in “The Isle of Love” and both a civil servant and Napoleon in pic’s best seg, “Waterloo.” Each vignette offers a wry view of contempo marital relations, and at his best the snowy-haired Krampol fuzzily recalls the bewildered persona of Jacques Tati, giving pic a tone way to the right of “Mon Oncle” and closer to “Love, American Style” at the other end. “Pupendo” co-star Eva Holubova appears in one seg; other support is just OK. Events are linked by a plummy narration waxing philosophical. Tech credits are crisp, though some interiors look overly dark.

Waterloo Czech Style

Czech Republic

Production

A Bontonfilm release (in the Czech Republic) of a Diamant Film Prague, FV Plast production. (International sales: FV Plast, Prague.) Produced by Ivo Pavelek, Frantisek Vondracek. Directed, written by Vit Olmer, from his story.

Crew

Camera (color), Juraj Fandli; editors, Miloslav Liska, Matej Liska; music, Miroslav Vydlak, Michal Dvorak, Pavel Hrubes, Vladimir Franz, Jiri Stivin. Reviewed at Finale Pilsen Film Festival (competing), April 4, 2003. Running time: 95 MIN.

With

Jiri Krampol, Simona Chytrova, Klaudie Osickuva, Jan Skopocek, Svatopluk Schuller, Jiri Hruby, Eva Holubova.
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