Vejdelek's film Posledni aristokratka / The Last Aristocrat is now available on DVD

New Yorker Frank (Hynek Cermak) gains an ancient family residence - the Kostka castle, thanks to his aristocratic ancestors. After more than forty years, the descendant of Czech emigrants is ready to return to Bohemia (Czech Republic) with his daughter Marie (Yvona Stolarova) and a vivacious wife Vivien (Tatiana Vilhelmova). These new aristocrats are unacquainted of the local conditions and Czech reality.

They only know their former homeland and the life there from ancient stories told by their relatives. Matters related to the return of property are handled by attorney Benda (Vojtech Kotek). As soon as the family arrives, they find out that the castle is in a state of gradual disintegration and aside from any social events. The only permanent residents of Kostka are a peculiar warden Josef (Martin Pechlat), a cheerful housekeeper Mrs. Ticha (Eliska Balzerova) and a hypochondriac repairman Krasa (Pavel Liska). While the Kostka servants slowly awaken from the sleep of the post-revolutionary 1990s, the Kostka family faces a difficult choice whether to sell the mansion built by generations of ancestors and return to America or to try to save the Kostka castle.

The latest film by Jiri Vejdelek is an adaptation of Evzen Bocek's successful book of the same name (released in 2012). Mr. Bocek wrote three more sequels. Unfortunately, I did not read any of them. But I know a lot of Vejdelek's comedies and I like to watch most of them several times ("Ucastnici zajezdu", "Zeny v pokuseni", "Muzi v nadeji"). I personally think that the film "Posledni aristokratka" is more of his weaker works. It has a very nice camera (thanks to Vladimir Smutny), a good acting team (Eliska Balzerova in the role of the housekeeper and Martin Pechlat as the warden were great. Cermak and Vilhelmova played their standard) and apparently a solid foundation in the book, but which I think was not sufficiently utilized.

We can watch some really funny scenes. As a fundamental problem, which I simply did not pass through, I see the fact that a three-member family living their whole life in New York (and with American names) comes to Bohemia and speaks fluent Czech with no explanation. Except for this, the film was quite ok. I felt Christmas atmosphere a bit and I will not resist to watch it again in the future.

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