Review: ‘Two Syllables Behind’

More perky local crowd-pleaser than festival film, scriptwriter Katarina Sulajova's debut feature "Two Syllables Behind" says a lot about the post-communist world of Eastern Europe -- in this case, Slovakia -- where a carefree younger generation is growing up.

More perky local crowd-pleaser than festival film, scriptwriter Katarina Sulajova’s debut feature “Two Syllables Behind” says a lot about the post-communist world of Eastern Europe — in this case, Slovakia — where a carefree younger generation is growing up. Hedonistic, materialistic and eager to get all she can out of life, pic’s heroine seems to have stepped right out of the West. This is fast-moving, easy-watching family entertainment with appeal for younger local auds who want to fantasize about having lots of spending money and driving off to Paris for the weekend in a new car.

Zuza (the lively Zuzana Sulajova, from “The Garden”) was a popular child actress before growing up to be a pretty, well-paid dubber. She dashes from job to job, barely finding time to squeeze in multiple boy-friends. One is a student of Chinese on a scholarship, another a French paramour. Her drifter mother and alcoholic father about sum up the previous generation, while her foreign-born granny (Anna Fer-enczy) embodies the old values of knowing lots of languages and generally being wise. Directing is sure-footed, especially in some funny dubbing scenes. The clean framing has a TV look.

Two Syllables Behind

Slovakia-Czech Republic

Production

A Trigon Production/STV/CTV Brno coproduction. (International sales: Trigon Production, Bratislava.) Produced by Patrick Pass. Directed, written by Katarina Sulajova.

Crew

Camera (color), Alexander Surkala; editor, Barbora Passova; music, Jan P. Muchow; production designer, Jana Domitrekova; costume designer, Renata Ormandikova. Reviewed at Rotterdam Film Festival (Cinema of the World), Feb. 2, 2005. Running time: 83 MIN.

With

Zuzana Sulajova, Marek Majesky, Anna Ferenczy, Mikulas Kren, Ivan Romancik, Tana Radeva, Pierre-Philippe Deleau.

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