27 October 2012

Yuma (Piotr Mularuk, 2012, Poland/Czech Republic)

It's kind of a sexy film, I guess. Jakub Gierszal, who plays the protagonist Zyga, is a pretty faced actor who kind of drips a sort of sexual energy. Actually, almost everybody in the film does. The story starts toward the end of the 1980's, I imagine. Zyga and his best friend help this East German escapee get to the West German embassy. He gives them money that Zyga first tries to decline, but they end up accepting it, which leads them to a prostitute in the forest, which leads to hijinks, which leads to a traumatic experience which sets the film in motion, more or less. The friend disappears and comes back later on in the film as a deranged lawman. Basically it's about these kids who succumb to the madness for materialism that sweeps through the former Eastern Bloc after the Iron Curtain falls. We're informed at the beginning of the film that the area of Western Poland that borders Germany is called Juma (pronounced Yuma) and because stolen German goods are so widespread in that part of Poland, the word Juma has come to mean something about reselling stolen goods. So this is what Zyga gets mixed up with, naturally. Alongside all the massive trucks operated by the Russian mafia, Zyga starts smuggling stolen goods across the border, first Marlboro cigarettes at the behest of his brothel running aunt, and eventually anything you could think of. Things naturally go well for a while as Zyga and his friends run around town in their stylish threads blasting their stylish music and so forth and naturally things get out of hand. The protagonist is inspired by the old western 3:10 to Yuma. I haven't seen that film in a few years but I don't remember the plot being too similar to what happens here. Anyway, it's sort of an exciting movie, but sometimes the characters are weirdly mean given how likable they can be and how fluffy the film can be. In the end, it's an entertaining film, but not one you can always take seriously.

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