Review of the film Gump – we are two

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An old man with his dog comes to the places where he was born. He probably already knows that this is his last visit. Once confined to a hospital bed, Gump the dog unfortunately gets a new owner. Because this canine hero talks, he nicknames the master Nut. Unfortunately, the audience knows that it is Richard Krajčo, and they see how he tries to fake an acting performance.

Pretending is the key word of the entire film called Gump – we are two, which has been shown in cinemas since last Thursday and which rose to the top of the audience table right after the premiere.

The continuation of the three-year-old title Gump – the dog that taught people to live is probably trying to live up to the title of number one and shows how Krajč’s hero exchanged his original job in the IT field for a stay in Maringotka. We have no idea what he’s doing, but he looks very happy, he’s probably really alive now. Like people in a cult, he always has a smile on his face, and he also apparently possesses a supernatural ability, because at one point he understands Gump’s dog-speak.

At that moment, a remarkable narrative turn occurs: Nut begins to write down Gump’s great life story. This is done by feverishly filling stacks of paper with words that are somehow reflected in the dog’s eyes. And it only happens in one room somewhere in the rectory.

Amazing in itself. What is even more amazing is that the audience does not learn a word of the story. We only hear repeatedly how unique, adventurous and eccentric he was.

This is how a rare phenomenon was created: a film that has no plot at all and tells only about how this story, about which the audience knows nothing, becomes a book. What is the story? Who cares. It’s apparently enough for the creators that the audience is constantly inundated with a tiresome dog monologue. It does not make general sense, it only comments on the obvious happenings on the screen using a strongly inconsistent vocabulary, which is sometimes at the level of a four-year-old child. At other times, on the contrary, Gump uses a very superior vocabulary.

More than 48,000 people watched the second episode of Gump over the weekend. The picture shows Štěpán Kozub in the role of Křivák and Richard Krajčo as Nut. | Photo: Bioscop

Director FA Brabec, author of the films Máj and the musical V peřině, was based on the screenplay and book by Filip Rožek. He made a film that tries to bite its own tail in a really unconventional way.

There is constant talk about all the great things that Gump has been up to, but we don’t see any of it. The dog and his human companion only occasionally randomly meet human or animal characters that they probably know from the past, but despite the extreme overuse of the dog’s voiceover, we don’t learn what kind of connection or relationship they have with each other. We only usually sense that he is full of love, because the director and cinematographer Brabec frames these encounters with slow-motion, cheesy shots, in which affection of a sexual nature sometimes flashes.

Unfortunately, the interspecies connection that would at least send this absurd cinematic entity into slightly bolder waters will never happen. The cheesy “slow motions” on the other hand graduate at the moment when the canine hero runs somewhere into the sky through a space in which a whole series of rainbows spans and where many people meet their canine friends.

Gump is a rare example of a movie whose creators clearly don’t need anything to make sense here.

For example, in honor of the original deceased owner, who was played by Bolek Polívka, huge crowds of people gather as if he were some kind of celebrity, although there was no indication of this in the plot. But in the end it turns out that they are probably fans of the Gump book hungry for an autograph. That is, probably the book that gave rise to both films, but which is still being written and published for a significant part of the second film.

Vica Kerekes as Bones and Gump. | Photo: Bioscop

It’s not so much the ill-conceived game about whether Richard Krajčo should play the author of the Gump books that offends, but rather the feeling that a full-length family film can be made, which lacks even a hint of plot or ideas of any kind.

Perhaps only in the last quarter does the light drama come, when Štěpán Kozub appears in the role of a greedy bully who has a surprising connection to Gump’s story and tries to cash in on it.

At the same time, this villain does nothing completely different from the filmmakers, who make no effort to engage the viewer other than through constant emotional blackmail. As an alibi for the audience, they introduce other cute animals in episodic roles, such as a pig that takes care of sick children. After all, no one could object to a film whose theme is that animals are great and make our lives better.

Well, one dog managed to turn the character of Richard Krajč into a man who smiles, lives in the forest and does not maintain a consistent attitude even between the two following scenes. For example, he cooks up some kind of concoction for Gump and promises how it will improve his digestion. And when he then goes to sleep soundly, one of the most tiresome moments in contemporary Czech cinematography comes: Gump tries to describe at length that something very undesirable and smelly will soon come out of his rear end inside the maringotka. And the man who worked for all this is suddenly surprised and outraged in the morning.

This failed faecal gag represents the only attempt at a joke in addition to several Kozub short stories, otherwise it is a mechanically serious film which, as a family spectacle, does not appeal to anyone.

For very young children, the presence of animals will probably work – but rather play them anything with an animal theme that you find on social networks. It will be 100% more tasteful, more fun and less tiring.

Film

Gump – we are two
Directed by: FA Brabec
Bioscop, in cinemas from March 28.

The article is in Czech

Tags: Review film Gump

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