Produced by Hakan Bjerking, Guntis Trekteris.
Directed by Una Celma. Screenplay, Lauris Gundars. Camera (color), Robert Nordstrom; editor, Celma; music, Martins Brauns; production designer, Jurgis Krasons; costumes, Zanete Auzina. Reviewed at Olympia, Stockholm, Aug. 19, 1999. Original Swedish title: Svar med photo. (English, Swedish and Latvian dialogue.) Running time: 93 MIN.
With: Samuel Froler, Baiba Broka, Lennart Jahkel, Eva-Lena Bjorkman, Juris Zagars, Felicia Brottom, Guna Zarina.
An effort to tell a love story against a background of cultural differences, “Reply With Photo” fails on most accounts. Stilted dialogue, unbelievable characters, music that seems to come from some other movie and direction that never makes the viewer care what’s happening add up to a pic that will pass through theaters without anyone noticing. Some TV sales could be likely, especially in Baltic countries, where co-productions with Sweden are rare.
Story centers on Brigita (Baiba Broka), a beautiful Latvian girl who answers a personals ad placed by a Swedish guy, Lars (popular Swedish soap star Samuel Froler), an introverted scientist who lives in Stockholm in a big house with his domineering but well-meaning sister (Eva-Lena Bjorkman). Brigita eventually returns to Riga, and Lars follows her; meanwhile, Brigita’s ex-lover (Juris Zagars) comes to Stockholm, meets Lars’ sister and starts a relationship with her. People travel back and forth, with no attention being paid to how much time elapses; in fact, not much attention has been paid to anything by femme Latvian helmer Una Celma in this first 50-50 Swedish-Latvian co-production. Acting by the two leads is OK.