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The Great Water (Unrated)

Release Date: June 17th (NYC-Quad Cinema), by Picture This! Entertainment.
The Cast: Saso Kekenovski,Maja Stankovska,Mitko Apostolovski
Directed by: Ivo Trajkov
In Macedonian with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: No, this is not about a flood. It's about a dying politician recalls his rough childhood at a WWII orphanage.

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: What really holds this disjointed film together is the strong acting skills of the young boy who struggles with communism in an orphanage. Immediately, it is obvious that the abusive administration that is running his orphanage is his enemy. This is all told in flashback, as the older version of the boy is now on his death bed after a heart attack. However, the flashback simply does not work because not enough time is invested in the present time. The cinematography is pretty good, but at times the editing is too choppy which makes some scenes feel rushed. There are a few scenes that are difficult to watch, such as one when a orphan tries to escape and injures himself on barbed wire. An older man is tortured for electrocuting a cat that mysteriously comes alive again and runs away. At one point, the young boy is forced to stay in a cell with just bread and water because of his disobedience and rebellion against his teachers. All of these scenes are interesting, but they happen to quickly and are mostly contrived. There is no humor or wit to elevate the film from its seriousness nor are any characters particularly likeable.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: This film could have had an emotional impact if its characters were not so underdeveloped. The old man at the beginning of the film does not appear until the end and it is easy to forget about him throughout the film. If only he were to narrate the film more, perhaps it would have been better. Just because a scene is difficult to watch does not necessarily make it touching. Unfortunately, none of the characters really come to life.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: At times, it difficult to distinguish some of the older officers from one another because they look so alike and their characters are so one-dimensional.


THE BOTTOM LINE: A film with strong acting from its lead child actor, but it has a confusing, disjointed plot that is not effective in bringing tears, laughter or joy. The Great Water is not so great after all.


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