The second and final Serbian film at the European Film Festival, Montevideo: I Love You, chronicles the formation of the Serbian team sent to the 1930 World Cup.
Told from the point of view of a young disabled shoe shiner, the film’s central relationship is that between the the poor Tirnanic and the already famous Mosha. After some initial squabbles, they become friends when they both are selected to play for the national team. It is a friendship that is troubled by two women: new arrival Rosa and the enchantress Valeria. Nevertheless, the country is the lead character in this highly patriotic tale.
The actors are admirable football players, one can easily see the Hollywood version of this film featuring body doubles and computer generated images for the on-field scenes. Thankfully, we are spared brutish visual effects and given an often grey but beautiful picture in which the period details appear accurate.
There is just the little problem of the manner of recollections: how is it possible that the kid narrator will be privy to the bedroom encounters of the central characters?
Agreed, it is a technical problem that will not matter a jot when a lump of patriotism is caught in your like I assume will be the case of Serbians. Nigerians will enjoy the football, football politics and amusing dialogue. The patriotism? Not so much.
The film ends before the actual tournament, which might be a torment for some. But there is hope in sight: a sequel is in the works.