The long-unavailable Skritek again on DVD

2020, Czech Film News, New Czech Films -

The long-unavailable Skritek again on DVD

After one of the most successful Czech films in recent years, Cesta z Mesta and the non-traditional documentary Z Mesta Cesta, Tomas Vorel comes up with another feature film, Skritek. After years, the director returns to the grotesque genre, which we could already see in a film Prazska Petka in a story A Trip to Karlstejn from 1989. A family, that we know from the film Cesta z Mesta, has moved from a village to a small town. The father (Bolek Polivka) works as a butcher in a meat processing plant, the mother (Eva Holubova) is employed as a cashier in a supermarket. Their daughter (Anicka Marhoulova) goes to the primary school, but she struggles with some subjects. She is the worst student in the class and so she has constant problems with her class teacher (Tomas Hanak). The son (Tomas Vorel Jr.) studies at the secondary vocational school, as his father wants him to become a butcher. However, the son is physically weak. Moreover, he is vegetarian, anarchist and marijuana smoker, which is a source of eternal conflicts with a strict master (Ivana Chylkova), father and police officers (Jan Kraus, Petr Ctvrtnicek, Tomas Vorel). The father doesn't know how to deal with his son's upbringing, especially when he is lured by a young beautiful butcher (Marika Prochazkova), with whom he falls in love. No matter how hard the mother tries - she visits beauty salons and psychiatrists, the husband completely loses interest in her and eventually moves from the family to live with the butcher in a hostel. So the mother wants revenge! And to make matters worse, there is a kind of elf (Skritek) that comes out of a forest and turns all serious situations into absurdity and humor.


Skritek is a grotesque, so the dialogues are replaced by interjections. Noises are stylized and what the sounds do not say, communicates both wild and infantile, gloomy and mystically pensive music (band MIG 21). The whole story is a colorful cascade of gags, sketches and tragicomic situations. "I dare to say that there is no time in the film when the viewer does not laugh or cry," says the director Tomas Vorel.

Tomas Vorel is known for his interesting and non-standard works. I understand that he has a large fan base, to which I will probably never belong. I heard about the grotesque Skritek for a long time until I decided to give it a chance. Maybe it's because the grotesque genre is incomprehensible to me, but the film didn't appeal to me like to everyone else. Yes, I must admit that sometimes the film is funny and I certainly applaud Mr. Vorel's courage to do something new. Acting performances were excellent, especially Polivka and Holubova. Unfortunately, for me the film was annoying. I don't know if I'm already starting to suffer from an allergic reaction to the combination Tomas Hanak, Tomas Vorel Jr. and Tomas Vorel Sr., but for me it's already an undesirable combination in films. Cesta z Mesta and Z Mesta Cesta is probably Vorel's only films, where the combination of this trio doesn't bother me.

Some people say that Skritek is Vorel's best work. However I'm more skeptical about that.