Review: ‘72 Days’

A dysfunctional family dependent on the pension of a widowed relative raids an old folks' home for a substitute when the original dies in the flat dark comedy "72 Hours."

A dysfunctional family dependent on the pension of a widowed relative raids an old folks’ home for a substitute when the original dies in the flat dark comedy “72 Days.” Marking the writing-directing debut of Croatian Danilo Serbedzija, pic is itself a family affair, with roles for the helmer, his well-known father, Rade, and sister Lucija. Supporting cast of scenery-chewing ex-Yugoslav stars as hillbillies might appeal to offshore fests with an Eastern Europe focus.

Hot-tempered, gun-toting, home-brewing brothers Mane (Rade Serbedzija) and Joja (Bogdan Diklic) dwell in the Lika region of Croatia, living off the meager income of their elderly aunt (Mira Banjac). Mane cows their respective sons — half-wit Todor (Zikvo Anocic) and musician Branko (Kresimir Mikic) — into caring for the old girl and later kidnapping a lookalike (also Banjac). A subplot about Branko’s indebtedness to the Belgrade mob leads to mayhem. Pic’s best attribute is the bluesy guitar score by noted musician Miroslav Tadic; diegetic music, featuring Branko’s lame punk band and the brothers’ drunken rendition of a traditional song, proves mildly entertaining.

72 Days

Croatia-Serbia

Production

An Interfilm/Vans/Croatian Radiotelevision/Lijeni Film production with the support of Ministry of Culture Croatia, Croatian Audiovisual Center, Ministry of Culture Republic of Serbia, Autonomous region Vojvodina. Produced by Ivan Maloca. Co-producers, Dean Vrazalic, Predag Jakovljevic. Directed, written by Danilo Serbedzija.

Crew

Camera (color), Sasha Redulic; editor, Ivana Fumic; music, Miroslav Tadic; art director, Mario Ivezic; costume designer, Zeljka Franulovic. Reviewed on DVD, Chicago, March 3, 2011. (In Berlin Film Festival -- market; Gothenburg Film Festival -- competing.) Running time: 93 MIN.

With

Rade Serbedzija, Kresimir Mikic, Bogdan Diklic, Zikvo Anocic, Mira Banjac, Lucija Serbedzija, Nebojsa Glogovac, Danilo Serbedzija. (Croatian, Serbian dialogue)

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