Because the film’s inbuilt second half buildup to the tragic denouement feels only just adumbrated by the much more leisurely paced, darkly comic first half, I was thrown for a bit of a loop in the end, rather than incensed or saddened, but after some thought let it also be said the counterbalance between the two does provide a rather provocative dichotomy.
Sobre el tránsito del egoísmo al acto humanitario. Una historia sobre la redención, cuestión que se logra no por el odio político, sino por una voluntad interna, natural y ajena a políticas o respetos tradicionales. Lo del protagonista principal es pura sensibilidad humana, lo sabes desde la primera vez que observa las manos temblorosas de una anciana y este se conmueve. Un final optimista entre la desgracia bélica.
Fascism seen and felt from the inside. There is only a thin line separating ordinary people and ordinary monsters. Great scene: the camera is searching for Antonin Brtko's face in Rozalie Lautmann's shop, circular travellings that stop several times on Antonin who's trying to avoid the objective, to avoid us, to avoid the voice of his conscience. Highly recommended.
It's got a slow build, but it evens out to a fantastic climax. It all really pays off. Not that the time up until then is wasted of course. Even without the last few scenes, the film is a really well balanced mix of comedy, drama, and great characterization.