Signal

113 minutes 2013

New
Two cousins pose as cell-phone company representatives and travel the Czech countryside, collecting bribes from naive landowners who want a signal tower constructed on their property. This 2012 feature begins like an update of a 60s Czech New Wave comedy, scoring wry observations about rural provincialism and how corruption is embedded in the national culture. (Jiri Menzel, director of the New Wave classic Closely Watched Trains, turns up in a supporting role.) In its second half, though, it attempts some wild narrative turns, playing at times like a thriller or a romantic melodrama. Director Tomas Rehorek maintains the same toneless, naturalistic approach throughout, which flattens the more ambitious ideas in Marek Epstein's script. In Czech with subtiltes.

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