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“Worst birthday ever” doesn’t begin to cover the magnitude of what befalls our protagonist in “Goran.” Fast-rising Croatian helmer Nevio Marasovic’s third professional feature — he’s made a well-received fourth, “Comic Sans,” since this one premiered at Fantasia nearly two years ago — is not so much a psychological thriller as an emotional horror movie, in which the title character’s fortunes go from bad to unimaginably worse. Holding its poker face to the bitter end, this is a black comedy whose slow burn nonetheless eventually leaves no one unconsumed by the flame of cruel fate. Uncork’d is giving it a limited U.S. theatrical release starting this Friday.
Goran (Franjo Dijak) is an uncomplicated guy who enjoys drinking (maybe a little too often), driving a cab (in a podunk town where it’s scarcely needed) and hanging out with bestie Slavko (Goran Bogdan) at a cabin where they’ve just built a freestanding sauna. Their boys’ nights out annoy Goran’s beautiful, blind wife Lina (Natasa Janjic), and one might sympathize if she didn’t seem such a disapproving nag that we understand why he’d frequently rather pass out under another roof.
Lina - Father - Timber - Baron - Luka
Lina’s father is widowed local timber baron Luka (Milan Strljic), who’s a bit of a bully — hence the very reluctant homecoming by brother Niko (Janko Popovic Volaric), all the more so since he’s returned from Zagreb with an apparent boyfriend in sniffy Dragan (Filip Kriza). During an uncomfortable family dinner, Lina announces that she’s pregnant. This is less than joyous news for her husband; he...
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