Film review: Kolya

I would like to recommend the film titled Kolya. The film was made in the Czech Republic in 1996 by the director Jan Svěrák.

The action of this movie takes place in 1988, during the era of the Soviet-occupied Czechoslovakia.

An older man named Frantisek is a concert cellist in the Philharmonic Orchestra and he enjoys his single lifestyle. But he loses his job, and as a result, his enthusiasm and buoyancy too. He has financial problems therefore he makes a decision which will change his life forever.

A Russian woman needs Czechoslovakian citizenship which presents a good opportunity to solve Frantisek’s financial problems. He marries her and after that gets well paid. He has no idea of what the consequences of that action might be.

After the wedding, the Russian woman grabs this new life opportunity and she immigrates to Western Germany with her lover. She leaves her five-year-old son with his grandmother. But this is the best thing that could have happened… Soon, however, the grandmother dies and the little boy is alone. Now that Frantisek is a stepfather, everything is different. Regardless of the fact that Frantisek doesn’t understand Kolya and he hates Russian people, has to take care of the boy.

Frantisek and Kolya are together for probably half a year. During this time a new relationship forms between the old man and the young boy. Frantisek is now enjoying his new life very much as they do some trips together and have a nice time in each other’s company. The boy gets sad sometimes because he misses his mother and grandmother.

Everything is different after the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia in 1989. The borders are opened and Kolya’s mother comes back for her son. Frantisek’s life becomes quite miserable, but he can’t do anything in this situation. Even though Kolya leaves his life so suddenly, Frantisek’s life is now changing a lot. He gets his job back in the Philharmonic Orchestra shortly. His former girlfriend visits him during a concert on Vaclavs Square and Frantisek can see that she is pregnant.

This film got very valuable awards such as the: Oscar in 1997, the Golden Globe in 1997 and Tokyo IFF in 1996.

Every time when I watch this film I cry at the end but actually I don’t know why… as the end is so optimistic. This film is so good for your knowledge as well. If you want to know more about the communism period in Europe and learn about the impact of this ideology on millions of people, Kolya offers a perfect opportunity.

Alena Bercikova, Upper-Intermediate B


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