The Three of Life
The loveably macho Grebo (Ermin Bravo) always has to be the center of attention. Along with his very pregnant French wife, Liliane (Ariane Labed, also starring in Fidelio, l’odyssée d’Alice), the Speedo-sporting Bosnian is on a summer vacation for fun in the sun at a packed, all-inclusive Adriatic seaside family resort: that’s right, Love Island. At an open-mike night Grebo seduces the resort crowd with a balls-to-the-wall performance of the Scorpions’ classic hard-rock power anthem Wind of Change – which, in the film’s best running joke, will earn him the much-deserved and repeated nickname “Window Change.” (It never gets tired.) Grebo so reminds Liliane of the young Sarajevo rocker she fell in love with, but the “glory night’s” big surprise, one that will throw all of their lives into disarray, is the young couple’s meeting with the alluring Flora (Ada Condeescu), scuba instructor by day, song-and-dance entertainer by night. Grebo immediately falls head over heels, but little does he know that his wife has her own history with Flora, and, on Love Island, long-concealed secrets can’t stay hidden for long.
A surprising delight from start to finish, the latest concoction from Bosnian director Jasmila Zbanic (winner of the Berlinale Golden Bear 2006 for Grbavica: The Land of my Dreams) might just throw you for a loop. In a good way. Co-written by the director and acclaimed Sarajevo-born and U.S.-based novelist Aleksandar Hemon, and loaded with delicious performances (including a cameo by the legendary Franco Nero), the sunny yet subversive Love Island is nothing less than a Lubitschian madcap comedy of remarriage, reworked for present-day Croatia. Employing a classical screwball structure, Zbanic and her talented collaborators advance a bold proposition for modern-day relationships. A wind of change, indeed.
The charismatic young woman will soon put their young marriage to the test. Past secrets cannot stay hidden for long on Love Island.
Fun at a summer resort and a bold look at modern relationships from Jasmila Zbanic, directress of GRBAVICA (2006 Berlinale Golden Bear), ON THE PATH (NA PATU) and FOR THOSE WHO CAN TELL NO TALES.”
What could possibly go wrong on such an idyllic holiday?Mark Peranson