|The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:|
|Original title:||Svecenikova Djeca|
|Production country:||Kroatien/Serbien 2013|
|Running time:||Ca. 93 min.|
|Rated:||From 12 years|
The young priest Fabian (Krešimir Mikic) has a difficult task ahead of him when he has to take over the small parish on a small Dalmatian island. Because not only can it not hold a candle to its predecessor in terms of popularity. Moreover, his church is steadily shrinking, as there are more and more deaths but no births. And Fabian absolutely has to change that. The reason for the catastrophic birth rate is quickly found when the kiosk owner Petar (Nikša Butijer) confesses to Fabian that he makes the biggest turnover selling condoms. This gives Fabian an idea: together with Petar and the quirky pharmacist Marin (Dražen Kühn), the clergyman makes sure that from now on there are only pitted condoms and vitamins on the island instead of the birth control pill. The manipulation of contraceptives soon shows the desired success: the birth rate on the island is rising rapidly and the baby boom is even ensuring that numerous couples from all over the world come to the island who are willing to grow up. So Fabian's plan really seems to have worked out - but the many pregnancies are really a blessing?
With "God forbid!" the Zagreb-born filmmaker Vinko Brešhas staged a lively Balkan comedy, which just in the first half has some wonderfully funny moments to offer. Brešan starts off wonderfully light-footed and surprisingly disrespectful into the original story, which he spices up with a few slippery jokes and a pinch of black humour to a pleasurable whole. He abducts the audience to a small island full of quirky characters, who radiate an enormous charm and make the island a place where one would like to stay for 90 relaxing minutes. In this part of the film the director also succeeds very well in humorously wrapping up some serious themes, so that you get both a laugh and a thought at the same time.
The actors are convincing and especially Krešimir Mikic does his thing as a desperate priest really well. And so the impression becomes more and more strong, that this is a really well done, smart and also a little bit evil arthouse comedy, that just makes a lot of fun. But then Vinko Brešan suddenly changes the key of his production and the humorous light-footedness is replaced by dark bitterness. What follows now is anything but funny, even though the staging here and there tries to loosen up the whole thing with a little humor. But in view of the things that happen in the last third, the humor seems rather inappropriate and almost a bit cynical.
This results in a very unbalanced overall picture in the end, whose two halves simply don't want to fit together. It's not so bad when a comedy can have more dramatic moments. However, to pull the viewer down emotionally in such a way after an extremely relaxed Einstig and then still want to build up a certain lightness, just doesn't work. And that's a pity, because the story is really wonderful in its core and its implementation is very successful in many parts. But if you really want to enjoy the movie, you should definitely prepare for the quite drastic change of mood in advance. Because only then the somewhat pale aftertaste keeps within limits and the positive overall impression prevails. And then there is also the "worth seeing", which "God forbid" has fully deserved, at least in the first half!
An article by Frankfurt-Tipp