Behind the Glass

Multiple miseries come to a boil for a caddish architect who's spent years waffling between his tart-tongued wife and his long-suffering mistress in Croatian helmer Zrinko Ogresta's banal drama "Behind the Glass."

With:
With Leon Lucev, Jadranka Dokic, Daria Lorenci, Anja Sovagovic-Despot, Bozidarka Frait, Vanja Drach, Katarina Ljeljak, Boris Svrtan, Kresimir Mikic, Nina Violic, Dara Vukic.

Multiple miseries come to a boil for a caddish architect who’s spent years waffling between his tart-tongued wife and his long-suffering mistress in Croatian helmer Zrinko Ogresta’s banal drama “Behind the Glass.” With its unsympathetic characters, trite dialogue, mannered cinematography, flat lighting and sluggish pacing, this wannabe expose of the hypocrisy and compromise of contempo life seems unlikely to travel beyond the fest circuit.

First seen holding up traffic as he shouts angrily into his cell phone, selfish Nikolai (normally strong Leon Lucev, not used to his best advantage) has problems beyond his lovelife; his father’s in the hospital, his colleague is implicating the firm in criminal practices and his pretty young daughter needs to be coached through her first communion. When wife Maya (sparky Jandranka Dokic), who publicly taunts him with remarks such as, “He had to leave for the second shift,” drops a bombshell at a family picnic, the fallout causes longtime lover Anna (a tamped-down Daria Lorenci), the third partner in his firm, to finally pull the plug. Deus ex machina ending is ludicrous, and behind-the-scenes credits have a TV-soap feel, with garish costumes that scream nouveau riche.

Behind the Glass

Croatia

Production: An Interfilm production, in cooperation with Croatian Television. (International sales: Interfilm, Zagreb, Croatia.) Produced by Ivan Maloca. Executive producer, Sanja Ivancin. Directed by Zrinko Ogresta. Screenplay, Ogresta, Lada Kastelan.

Crew: Camera (color), Davorin Gecl; editors, Josip Podvorac, Vladimir Gojun; music, Mate Matisic; art director, Tanja Lacko; costume designer, Zeljka Franulovic. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (competing), July 6, 2008. (Also in Pula Film Festival.) Original title: Iza stakla. Running time: 80 MIN.

With: With Leon Lucev, Jadranka Dokic, Daria Lorenci, Anja Sovagovic-Despot, Bozidarka Frait, Vanja Drach, Katarina Ljeljak, Boris Svrtan, Kresimir Mikic, Nina Violic, Dara Vukic.

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