TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘The Game’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, TIFF 2021 by - September 09, 2021
TIFF 2021: Our Review of ‘The Game’

“Steve” (Branislav Trifunović) is a dysfunctional father. He’s a soccer fan, so he pays attention to that more than he does to his young son next to him, who has an accident. Dysfunction, in other aspects of his life, is not always his fault. Living in Belgrade with a useless degree is difficult, and the only job for him isn’t the most legal.

“Steve” works as a refugee smuggler, and a timing mishap almost gets him fired until it turns out that he was able to smuggle two boys from Yemen Yousuf (Yousef Al Khaled) and Hamed) Hamed Hamoudi). That one mishap leads to a few more, so instead of him driving the boys partway, he has to drive them all the way to Hungary.

This means sharing hotel rooms with them, etc. I often complain about archetypes but when they’re there, they’re there. I suppose that this is director, writer, and producer Ana Lazarevic’s way of making the boys more relatable to a possible xenophobic local audiences. However, there must be better character flaws than “Yousuf is a regular boy who wants to talk to girls.”

There’s also a dream sequence involving “Steve” that doesn’t fit within the rest of the movie’s situational dramedy tone. But in fairness, it adds new levels of emotion. That scene also shows how much change there is in Central and Southeastern Europe and how that manifests. The few final scenes are also haunting, showing what people miss when they lose each other.


  • Release Date: 9/9/2021
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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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