It begins when a punk kid breaks into an old woman's house. The old lady overpowers him, and forces him to listen to a story. She even ends up in a hospital, and the kid follows her there to keep hearing this damn story.
Whoa. Okay, that's one.
The story, ahem, involves a spaghetti western-type tale about Macedonia around 1900. Yeah baby, Macedonia! There's lots of shootin' as two brothers -- one a dirty mercenary (David Wenham) and one a virtuous preacher (Joseph Fiennes) -- end up falling in love with the same woman -- a prostitute (Anne Brochet)! Bloodshed and endless gun battles ensue.
We cut between the present and the past haphazardly until, after more than two hours, our brains are numbed into oblivion. If I was the kid who broke into the house, I would have asked her to just shoot me and get it over with.
If you can't guess where director Milcho Manchevski hails from, you need your head examined, but you need a lot more in a movie than geographic and historic familiarity to make it work. Manchevski wants to imbue the largely ignored tale of Macedonia vs. the Ottoman Empire with a little glamour and a little spice. Casting Joseph Fiennes as a religious man and having the story narrated, Titanic style, by an ancient and crotchety old woman, is not the way to go about it.
Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5
Director: Milcho Manchevski
Screenwriter: Milcho Manchevski