By Lukas Vojacek
One of the most bizarre pieces of this year’s Festival came to Glasgow from Slovakia and Czech Republic. And as the title indicates, it is not just about cooking.
The popular section “Window on the World” at Glasgow Film Festival offered same as every year more than 30 interesting movies from nearly all continents. One of them that caught my attention is a low-budget drama Cook F**k Kill made by Slovakian female director Mira Fornay with Czech and Slovakian actors in the lead roles. Did she manage to fulfil spectators’ expectations?
Author is showing us one day in a life of dysfunctional Czech-Slovakian family. A middle-aged Czech ambulance driver Jaroslav (Jaroslav Plesl) is fighting with his estranged Slovakian wife Blanka (Jazmina Ciganekova) over the access to their three little children. Eventually, Blanka gives Jaroslav an ultimatum that puts him in a difficult position. A shy man has to stand up against his dominant mother Dorota (Regina Razlova) and his own insecurities before it’s too late…
First of all, Cook F**k Kill is a very unusual flick that denies all conventional methods of modern filmmaking. The story doesn’t really exist and the script is structured more like a computer game than a classic movie. Most of the footage is shot by the hand-held camera from the protagonist’s point of view, and we are basically watching the same situation in a loop but every time with different outcome. It reminded me of brilliant the German film from the late 1990s Run Lola Run. Even the main characters are acting like robots, rather than real people but it is done on purpose. Fornay is dealing with serious topics such as domestic abuse, jealousy and paranoia in a very absurdist way that is entertaining and horrifying at the same time. It should probably reflect how silly and stereotypical are disputes between married couples (and human relationships in general). Everything that happens on the screen is absolutely bizarre and seemingly does not make any sense, but it makes you stop and think as well.
The director was also not afraid to present us with some shocking and provocative surreal scenes with sexual and violent motives that could be for some audience members over the line. They however perfectly match the overall concept of the movie. The mostly unknown cast are amazing, even though that apart from Jaroslav Plesl and Regina Razlova none of them were very experienced. Mira Fornay, who not just directed but also wrote and edited the piece, has proven again that she is a bold and innovative filmmaker who doesn’t follow the mainstream and rather carves her own artistic path.
If you wish to see something odd and thoughtful at the same time, then Cook F**k Kill is an excellent choice for you. This unconventional drama with very dark sense of humour is definitely not appropriate for everyone and some spectators may denounce it for being too bizarre. However, under the surface of nonsense is hidden outstanding testimony about domestic crisis to which many of us can relate.
Cook F**k Kill is part of the window on the world strand of the festival. Other films in this strand can be found at https://glasgowfilm.org/glasgow-film-festival/shows/window-on-the-world