Bastardi: Reparat – A Controversial Dive into the Past

In a cinematic world replete with action, drama, and comedy, the film "Bastardi: Reparát" has emerged as a highly polarizing and controversial feature. Landing on DVD recently, the movie has seen opinions vary widely, with some praising it to the skies, while others found little to admire. 

The story reintroduces us to a leaner Učitel Majer, portrayed by Tomáš Magnusek, who after exacting revenge on three young delinquents for the death of his sister, finds himself serving a lengthy prison sentence. Upon his release through an amnesty, Majer, devoid of family and kin, is welcomed into the home of his primary schoolmate, Ivan, played by Zdeněk Godla. Ivan, a resident of a Roma ghetto, has a vested interest in seeing Majer succeed. He has dreams of reopening the very school where Majer previously taught and even led for a short time. Navigating the complexities of the Roma community and their issues, Ivan knows that the closure of their beloved school has done them no favors. 

Majer's journey sees him reach out to former colleagues and students, many of whom now have children of their own. Through this, he finds himself amidst a slew of comedic encounters. Yet, lurking in the shadows is the malevolent Dostál, played by Jiří Krampol. The elder of a mafia family, Dostál has not forgotten Majer's past deeds, especially the role he played in the death of his son and grandson, and is bent on revenge. Magnusek's return to his controversial role as the educator is notable. The physical transformation the actor underwent, mirroring his on-screen persona's weight loss, is also reflected in the script. Gone are the sharp quips, replaced with a narrative that occasionally plods in its earnestness. The film sees a cavalcade of popular faces, including Zdeněk Godla, Gabriela Gášpárová, and Karlos Vémola, putting forth commendable performances. However, technical challenges mar the film's sound quality, making it hard to discern several lines of dialogue. The visual aesthetics also leave something to be desired, occasionally dipping into a budget appearance. One cannot deny the film's genuine moments though, from the authentic portrayal of Bory prison to a sensual scene with Bára Mottlová. Yet, one can't help but wish for more dynamism, a punchier plot, and memorable sequences. Bastardi: Reparát has been quite divisive. Personally, I didn't find much allure in any film from the "Bastardi" series, but I'm aware of many who swear by their brilliance. It's a testament to the varied palate of cinema-goers, reminding us that one man's meat might indeed be another's poison.


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