The Czech Television released a fairy tale "Krakonošovo tajemství" on DVD, which is a magnificent story about Krakonoš, the guardian of the mountains, human greed that stops at nothing, and love, which is even more powerful. The story begins when the new owner of the castle in the foothills of the Krkonoše Mountains, Štěpán, arrives with his beautiful fiancée, Countess Blanka, and his younger brother Adam. On their way, their carriage accidentally hits a passing girl. Adam helps her, and she falls in love with him. Will their love be fulfilled? What mystery does the old painting in the Hůrka castle hide? And who is Krakonoš, and what is his greatest secret?
The Slovak director, Peter Bebjak, handled the Czech myth of Krakonoš brilliantly, and the result is a quality fairy tale that is worth watching. The focus on the characters and their natural fantasy elements is well done, and the love story is written with beautiful decency. The humor in the story, provided primarily by the character of Ondra Sokol, is nicely balanced and fits perfectly into the context of the entire narrative.
However, the best part of the movie is Krakonoš, played by David Šmehlík, who gives an excellent performance. He portrays Krakonoš's cruelty, sense of justice, and all of his emotions with great believability. It is a shame that he is not already one of the top Czech actors because he deserves to be. The casting of new, fresh faces was also a great decision, and the movie feels refreshing because of it.
The movie was filmed at the Kost and Sovinec castles, the Hrádek u Nechanic and Doudleby nad Orlicí chateaus, in Příchovice, Úštěk, and at the Veselý kopec open-air museum. The interior of Krakonoš's cottage was created in the Brno studio of Czech Television. The DVD even includes English subtitles, which is a pleasant surprise.
In conclusion, "Krakonošovo tajemství" is a well-written, well-acted, and well-directed fairy tale that brings new life to a classic Czech myth. If you enjoy fairy tales or are looking for a quality family movie, this is definitely worth watching.