Secret Ingredient: Film Review
The medicinal powers of marijuana are no secret, even supposing the plot of creator-director gjorce stavreski’s bittersweet debut function hinges on keeping positive key characters within the darkish. Set in macedonia, a small balkan republic battered through political and monetary turbulence for over a decade, secret element could have been but every other addition to the canon of bleak social evaluations from the former jap bloc. However stavreski adds a few mystery substances of his personal, shifting past the tale’s neighborhood context into the greater regularly occurring terrain of unresolved circle of relatives tensions, the risks of superstition and the recuperation energy of affection.
Screened inside the first-movie opposition at black nights film pageant in tallinn final week, secret ingredient is an unassuming tragicomic gem that might well turn out to be captivating its manner into area of interest distribution beyond the festival circuit. Given the wide variety of proud stoners in hollywood, an english-language remake is likewise an option, perhaps with woody harrelson or matthew mcconaughey within the lead? Skip the bong, dude.
Good-looking and affable in a disheveled hangdog way, blagoj veselinov performs vele, a thirtysomething blue-collar mechanic who works at a rundown rail backyard in skopje, the capital of macedonia. With the economic system in recession and wage payments months late, vele struggles to afford medicine for his sick father sazdo (anastas tanovski), who is afflicted with both terminal lung cancer and debilitating melancholy. Already shouldering a heavy burden of circle of relatives tragedy, both men badly need a miracle to get away their bleak, impoverished lives.
Divine intervention arrives in the unlikely shape of a parcel of unlawful narcotics smuggled into macedonia, hid on an incoming train. Enlisted by way of police and safety guards to assist search trains inside the rail yard, vele stumbles throughout the bundle and makes a rash break up-2nd decision to purloin it for his own purposes. Unluckily, his clumsy bid to make cash by way of promoting drugs on the road only earns him a beating from local dealers. Alternatively he comes to a decision to improvise with the aid of baking a medicinal cannabis cake to ease’s his father’s pain, passing it off as an experimental new remedy. Determined instances name for desperate measures.
A curmudgeonly conservative with deeply conventional values, sazdo is strongly opposed to illegal pills. And but, predictably, the marijuana has an right away tremendous effect on his mood and his fitness. “you have raised me from the dead!” he beams, ignoring his son’s instructions by way of sharing the cake with unwell buddies and neighbors. Quickly the grapevine is buzzing with news of vele’s wonderful recovery powers, and would-be patients clamor for treatment out of doors his rental door. Alas, this also signals the mobsters on the path in their lacking package, who’ve already began to terrorize rail backyard employees with ominous warnings and savage beatings.
Mystery component steps up a tools in its final act as vele and sazdo leave their drab urban condo behind for a dramatic showdown in the lovely macedonian highlands. Here the movie’s shade palette brightens and the vistas end up extra cinematic. You may nearly sense cinematographer dejan dimeski respiration a sigh of comfort as he liquids within the majestic perspectives. Stavreski shows admirable restraint with the aid of holding lower back some crucial own family context till the total-blooded action-mystery climax.
In a nicely ironic twist, the superstitious balkan folklore that vele robotically derides in the long run proves to be his salvation. As cynicism offers way to optimism, stavreski arguably becomes a bit excessive on superstition himself, bestowing manner too much medicinal power on marijuana. However by means of this factor maybe he has earned his quick, intoxicating hit of magical wondering. Moving from bitter to candy, mystery component is a film which desires to have its hashish cake and consume it, too, and it largely succeeds.
Manufacturing groups: fragment film, graal s.A, in affiliation with macedonian movie employer, greek movie centre, see cinema community
Cast: blagoj veselinov, anastas tanovski, aksel mehmet, aleksandar mikic, miroslav petkovic, dime iliev, simona dimkovska
Director-screenwriter: gjorce stavreski
Cinematographer: dejan dimeski
Editor: martin ivanov
Song: branislav nikolov, % trajkovski, goce jovanoski simo branov
Venue: tallinn black nights film competition
Income: extensive, Paris