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REVIEW: Ideš? Idem! (2019) January 15, 2020

Posted by Dragan Antulov in Film Reviews.
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Domination of mainstream in modern cinema is such that sometimes it looks that nobody tries to make films different from each other. One of those seemingly rare films that defies such impression appeared in Croatian cinemas last year. 2019 comedy Ideš? Idem! (“You Go? I Go!” in English) looked like the opposite of everything which is supposed to be canon in Croatian film industry. Unlike dark, depressive heavy-handed dramas that deal with darks sides of Croatian present and past, this film offered something which seemed more suitable for the Bollywood audience – fairytale-like escape from harsh realities of everyday life.

It is, therefore, ironic that the stars of this film are those who, in certain way, live more in the real word than actors and film makers. Director and producer Ljubo Zdjelarević based this film on notion that in today’s world people become celebrities not through traditional media, but through Internet and social networks. Therefore, he simply collected group of the major Youtube, Instagram and Twitch stars from the countries of former Yugoslavia and created a film in which they play themselves.

Rather simplistic plot begins with Slovenian Youtube star Kaja Kočevar a.k.a. Kaya Solo going to Zagreb to visit her friend, Croatian Youtube star Veronika Rosandić, who just happened to break up with her boyfriend, bodybuilder and Youtube star Fran Lauš. She decides to comfort her by bringing her to a party thrown by Croatian Youtube star Vid Juričan. He volunteers to bring his father’s van and travel with them to Istanbul. Along the way, in Serbia, famous gamer Bogdan Ilić a.k.a. Baka Prase joins them together with friend and fellow gamer Nenad Krstić a.k.a. Tony TCTN. Group along the way gets in a lot of adventures and it all culminates in Istanbul where Bogdan is supposed to meet his arch-rival who had humiliated him while playing Scum, multiplayer online survival game.

Ideš? Idem! looks and sounds as a surprisingly fresh film. This is mostly due to great skill and editing and innovative style, that almost perfectly blends live action with images of text messages, Twitter feeds, Instagram profiles, Youtube videos and SCUM video game footage. Zdjelarević in one perfect moment even uses animation for narrative purposes. The main actors, despite not having any previous acting experience, show great skill and talent, based on years spent in front of camera, and that becomes even more obvious in scenes that feature the only professional actor – Zijad Gračić in the role of Croatian consul, whose mannerisms at times look like over-acting. Zdjelarević also keeps quick tempo and Ideš? Idem! is as long as it should be, something very rare in today’s cinema.

Unfortunately, all those talents weren’t matched by the script by Nikolina Bogdanović, which at times looks too artificial and incoherent. It starts well, with the road trip as an excellent idea to visit various countries and feature different Youtube stars, but soon it becomes apparent that the writer lost inspiration and tries to fill the running time with forced and not particularly convincing romance between two characters, as well as some cheap jokes involving certain bodily functions. It culminates in even cheaper ending that indicate authors running of ideas. However, the main idea worked and the enthusiasm of the cast and crew looks quite genuine. We should never be too harsh on films that provided more fun to the people making them than the people watching them. And even less so towards film that point to different and possibly brighter future.

RATING: 5/10

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