An increasingly dysfunctional couple navigates the treacherous waters of their relationship in the intense but resolutely inscrutable Czech meller “Parallel Worlds.” Memories of helmer Petr Vaclav’s previous pic, “Marian,” may attract some fests, but regional tube play and vid seem more likely.
Like the perfect model house in the Lucite box on the desk of 44-year-old architect Krystof (Karel Roden), his long-term relationship with needy, troubled g.f. Tereza (Lenka Vlasakova) is a sealed-off scale model of the real thing. They clearly had a bond at one point, but now he’s distracted by taste-deprived clients and mistress Renata, while she mopes around wishing he’d focus more on family than work. Eventually, they survive each other to move in new directions. Vaclav’s point that even the most committed couples can drift apart while going through the motions is presented clearly if somewhat lethargically, with no particular spin. Roden (the heavy in “15 Minutes”) continues to distinguish himself via a moody intensity, while Vlasakova does most of the histrionic heavy lifting. Tech credits are workmanlike. Pic won the Golden Kingfisher award at the recent Pilsen fest.