Goran Slavkovic’s journey might have you scratching your head.
KRIVINA (Igor Drljaca). 67 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (January 25). For venues and times, see listings. For venues and times, see listings. Rating: NN
Making an enigmatic mystery can pose a challenge to the artiest of art house directors. Do it right and the film becomes a fascinating puzzle with endless interpretations. Do it wrong and you've got something destined to irritate everyone.
Toronto-based filmmaker Igor Drljaca's feature debut, Krivina, sits somewhere uncomfortably between those two extremes. His skill with visuals and atmosphere is undeniable; he stumbles with narrative, however.
Miro (Goran Slavkovic), a middle-aged Bosnian refugee based in Canada, has lived a nomadic existence since the war that ravaged his country in the early 90s. After learning that a former war-profiteering friend is missing in Bosnia, Milo returns to his homeland to find out what happened. Everyone he meets offers more questions than answers.
As the film unfolds, it gradually becomes clear that the story is told non-chronologically, making it impossible to tell if Miro's search is a flashback or happening in the present. So the film becomes a subjective study of a lost immigrant in search of some elusive form of home or identity.
Drljaca has talent. Krivina is filled with intriguing images backed by a chillingly ominous soundtrack. The movie drips disquieting atmosphere and is certainly an immersive experience.
Unfortunately, it's very hard to tell what he's getting at. It's time for his content to catch up to his style.