A Czech family finds itself mired in a variety of middling-to-bad relationships in comedy-drama "Dirty Soul," from producer-helmer-scribe Milan Cieslar. Verbal humor and old-school sexist mindset of characters won't translate for auds outside Central and Eastern Europe. Familiar faces could help "Soul" ascend moderately in local B.O. charts.

A Czech family finds itself mired in a variety of middling-to-bad relationships in comedy-drama “Dirty Soul,” from prolific producer-helmer-scribe Milan Cieslar (“Bonds of Blood”). Although competently handled, pic doesn’t have anything very fresh to offer. Verbal humor and old-school sexist mindset of characters won’t translate for auds outside Central and Eastern Europe. Familiar faces in cast could help “Soul” ascend moderately in local B.O. charts.

Opening section finds an older woman named Mother (Vilma Cibulkova) attending the funeral of her ex-husband with her two daughters, unhappily married Jana (a strong Tatiana Vihelmova, from “The Wild Bees”) and teen Anna (Karolina Kaiserova). The late ladies’ man also sired a son, Vladimir (Jan Budar), out of wedlock, who introduces himself to his half-sisters. Thereafter plot mostly follows the three siblings, particularly Jana, whose dreadful husband Jan (Ondrej Vetchy, “Dark Blue World”) not only beats her, but is also cheating on her with her best friend Karin (popular Czech cutie Alice Vesela). Widescreen lensing feels unnecessarily spacious for what is essentially a small-scale tale. Rest of the tech credits are fine. Original title literally means “Spirit Like Caviar.”

Dirty Soul

Czech Republic

Production

A Happy Celluloid production in association with Bioscop, Eusebius, Magic Box. (International sales: CP 2000, Prague.) Produced, directed, written, edited by Milan Cieslar.

Crew

Camera (color, widescreen), Jiri Machane; music, Jan Cerny; production designer, Vaclav Novak; costume designer, Evzenie Razova. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (Czech Films), July 5, 2005. Czech, Russian dialogue. Running time: 106 MIN.

With

Tatiana Vihelmova, Karolina Kaiserova, Vilma Cibulkova, Alice Vesela, Jana Bernaskova, Petra Jungmannova, Viktoria Flidr, Ondrej Vetchy, Sasa Rasilov, Roman Luknar, Jan Budar, Filip Blazek, Ondrej Pergl.
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