Shut up and shoot me
Long-suffering Czech Pavel Zeman works six jobs, so his ungrateful wife Liba can buy designer shoes and clothes. Colin Frampton is an Englishman who never stops worrying, not even on holiday in Prague. When Colin's wife is accidentally squashed by a statue, he decides that he can't face life without her. So Colin bribes Pavel to help him die. An unlikely friendship develops as Pavel's plans for Colin's death spin out of control, attracting the violent interest of local gangster Karel Karlovic.
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(This being said, this movie is not for everyone. My wife did not seem to be equally satisfied.)
Briefly, a young British couple is on the holiday of a lifetime in Prague. He is a very honest, worried, detail-meister, well....British male, worrying if he turned off the iron before they left for their 10 day vacation. She is a beautiful loving woman that tells him to not worry. She ends up instantly killed in a freak accident. He feels lost and without hope to live anymore. The hotel inexplicably hires a driver to take him to the morgue. Our hero husband decides to pay the driver to kill him. The story then takes us through the attempts.
The point at which the film somewhat jumps the shark for me is in the last 15 or 20 minutes. We end up with an unnecessary group of deaths that is somewhat reminiscent of Resevoir Dogs. There is very little blood and gore in this film (unlike Resevoir Dogs). So the killings are a bit more stylized than other films. But I really could have done without this form of concluding or giving closure to the film.
There's a very redeeming final scene. And no way would I spoil that for you. Suffice it to say, everything comes full circle, and it is a good ending.
I ended up liking the two main characters. They are a real contrast between western and eastern Europeans. It's a good movie when the film is over and you do feel like you know the characters much better.
Film-wise, this is a low budget film. There's some out of focus shots. Lighting isn't always perfect. It's a gray film. The sound is very simple and flat. The film takes place in and around Prague. The locations are all very simple. But that is also some of the charm of this film.
Where Variety came up with "Czech variation on Fargo" is totally beyond me. Maybe because they are both set in bleak cold places? Shut Up and Shoot Me has no relationship whatsoever to Fargo.
I recommend this film. The film is mostly in English (95%) you actually don't even have to read the subtitles to understand or enjoy the film (you'll feel more like our British hero). It's R rated, mostly for the sexual themes (there is no nudity, a neighbor shows a condom briefly)and the deaths (although Transformers showed way more killing). If it was an American film, more than likely it would be rated PG-13, but your average 13-17 year old probably wouldn't like the film anyway.
Bonus features on the DVD, a couple of deleted scenes that are pretty funny. Worth watching. I did not listen to the director commentary track. Sadly those commentaries after Criterion did them fabulously well on Laserdisc have all been pretty worthless anyway. I can pretty much predict what will be said anymore.
It is very entertaining and I am looking forward to seeing this film coming out on DVD. I give it all stars for both originality and entertaining.