In Croatia after the siege of Dubrovnik, 14-year-old Linda’s new friend Eta takes her to the forbidden forest above the city where the two become entangled in a sexually charged game of swapping identities. The next morning Linda comes back alone; slowly she begins to take Eta’s place in her family.
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Štaka miraculously finds a note of real menace in the seemingly idyllic, over-bleached sunniness of Dubrovnik, which is arguably the film's most interesting character; most of the film's best scenes and shots take place outdoors. The menace, threat, and dread at the center of this film make it what it is, and the proximity of the war - which we never actually see but are always aware of - achieves it brilliantly.
Interesting film with strong performances but unfocused in scripting which makes the film somewhat forgettable. Young Sylvie Marinkovic gives a very strong turn here and is certainly one to watch out for. The always reliable Mirjana Karanovic is also very good here. After the magnificent 'Fraulein' this reps a disappointment from the director despite its strong visual style and performances.
The film's a bit too self-conscious when it plays with the art film tropes. I thought they interfered with the narrative. I do like the elasticity of identity. It's especially true at that age. You go to college and you can choose another identity for yourself. I think it's helpful to try others on so you can incorporate what you like into your eventual identity. If there is such a thing.
The best horror films are the quietest - think "The Innocents" or "Dead of Night" or just about anything by Val Lewton - and make no mistake this is a horror film. The 'Cure" is deadly quiet and nail-biting tense from its first moments to its final shot which suggests that Linda has found great pleasure in living the life of the a doppelganger and does not want that pleasure to end.
The reverie moments are a little too much for me, but the sick premise, the glorious photography and the careful treatment of political tensions and adolescent tensions make it a wonderful film, that stays with you for a while.