|LFF Review: Alois Nebel|
|Written by Selina Pearson|
|Tuesday, 25 October 2011 07:10|
Director: Tomas Lunak
In 1989, in an isolated train station near the Czech-Polish border, Alois Nebel (Krobot) is haunted by events from his childhood at the end of WWII. At the same time, a mysterious loner appears in his village. He has an old photograph. And presumably wants something to do with revenge - what that is, though, is never clear.
An adaptation of a graphic novel, Tomas Lunak's film depicts the life of the lonely Nebel during the fall of the Berlin wall. Technically, the film is beautiful - rotoscoped animation is still sufficiently rare that it's cool to gawp at them. But the storytelling is ropey and lacks focus. Is it about Nebel and his haunted past? Is it about that mysterious mute? Or is it about the changes in the lives of the normal people, while Germany switches from communism to democracy?
If the film had picked one of these and explored it properly, the film would hang together much better. As it is, Lunak's inability to tell a decent narrative and some quite bizarre failures in facial hair continuity make Alois Nevel a tiresome viewing experience. Its only real plus point is its vivid depiction of Prague railway station - and when a virtual train station is more engaging than a plot or a main character, you can safely say you're in trouble.
In the end, Alois Nebel is a rotoscoped mess that disappears into its own fog of forgetfulness, leaving you confused and unsatisfied.