Evzen Benes (Josef Abrham) is kind of a landlord. He owns a house somewhere in Prague where he lets a woman and her parent stay. Dividing his time between Italy and the Czech Republic, he surveys the Prague property. He’s unaware that a man, Jarda Molikov (Roman Luknar) is going to steal one of his cars, landing the latter in jail for a bit. And that he eventually meets and has a relationship with the latter’s wife Marcela (Anna Geislerova). Marcela is, supposedly, Beauty in Truouble‘s protagonist.
One of the strangest things about my experience with films is that I’ll find a bit of comedy and magnify it. It hasn’t happened in a while. And while some critics write about Beauty‘s comic flashes, I don’t see it here. Ok fine, the sex scenes are slightly funny. Anyway, the film doesn’t burden its viewers with what seems like Marcela’s options, narrowing because of her jailbird husband. The only one she has for a while is to take her kids Kuba (Adam Misik) and Lucina (Michaela Mrvikova). All three then, have to stay with her mother Zdena (Jana Brejchova) and her creepy stepfather Risa (Jiri Schmitzer).
There are some merits to characters like Risha and the other supporting characters, which make me rethink my previous assessment on the film’s supposed lack of humour. There’s a scene where Evzen invites Marcela, Zdena, and Risha to lunch and he buys them black pasta, which Risa makes comments about. To be fair, there is a tendency here that I see in depictions of class differences. There, the comedy get their source from bodily humour, which feels a little bit derivative.
One of Jan Hrebejk’s film’s flaws emerges in the showdown between Risa and the kids. The former wans the latter to be upfront about their real opinions of each other. Of course, they’re supporting characters but this conflict is just one of the few that Petr Jarchovský’s script doesn’t resolve. Although thankfully, I can imagine a lesser version of this film where he’d be a mustache twirler or much worse.
It’s too bad that Beauty lets its characters recede. This is especially true with Marcela, although in fairness the film depicts her, a character who marries up, with much more sympathy. Later scenes feel like still lives, where it denotes the objects that Evzen has in comparison to Jarda’s fixer upper possessions. It doesn’t help that the visuals here feel unremarkable, treating Marcela’s rise to the upper classes with indifference.
Catch Beauty in Trouble on OVID.