Long expected film Prazske orgie - one big trouble?
This film, based on a book by Philip Roth, raises expectations, but unfortunately the transfer to the screen was not very successful.
The story of the film Prague Orgies takes us back to the mid-1970s. A famous American writer Nathan Zuckerman - Philip Roth's often used alter ego - arrives to Prague to save and take away a manuscript of an unpublished book. On his Prague mission, he meets a quirky and untamed writer Olga and goes to infamous parties, where everyone is looking for an escape to short-term freedom in their own way. Gradually, he becomes against his will more than a spectator, but also a participant in a decadent performance in which many play falsely, and no one can be trusted. Zuckerman's visit to Prague, full of bizarre encounters with a group of diverse people, will soon become almost adventurous and dangerous mission. Finally, Zuckerman is not sure who is a friend and who is a provocateur or a snitch. Who are the people from those decadent orgies in the house of a famous painter's son? Who is the frightened student who warns Zuckerman to leave Czechoslovakia immediately? Who is his guide in the normalization hell, the fired theater director and now the maintenance man in the museum's boiler room? And who is his Olga: scandalist and rebel or double player? Zuckerman's freedom, and perhaps also his life, is in danger.
I've read the book and maybe that's why the film didn't make a great impression on me. To be completely correct, it was not a complete disaster, but on a scale 1 to 5, with 5 being the most positive, I will not give more points than two. Totalitarian times are an eternal and grateful topic of many Czech directors. However, some directors sometimes idealize those times so much that they can turn a period when there was no toilet paper in Czechoslovakia into a periop of prosperity. The first shot of the Boeing 747 in Ruzyne Airport, however, already warns of vigilance, because in 1976 it certainly did not fly there. There were not so many cars on the streets as well. But these are just details that bothered me personally because they deprived the authenticity. Costumes and the environment were perfectly captured. The characters were pretty stiff, except for 12 minutes of orgies, which I don't know why imagined differently while reading the book. Certainly more could be gained from the characters. The film could have a deeper impression if they would choose Czech actors, see Pavel Kriz, who was absolutely phenomenal. After watching it, I was a little disappointed because the expectations were higher, but over time I admit that as a probe to the 70s it's more or less nice.