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SHUT UP AND SHOOT ME

Director: STEEN AGRO

U.K.-CZECH REPUBLIC • 2006 • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 90 MIN


A JET-BLACK COMEDY ABOUT A GRIEF-STRICKEN BRITISH WIDOWER WHO WANTS TO DIE AND AN EASTERN EUROPEAN EVERYMAN WHO CAN’T QUITE ACCOMMODATE HIM, ‘SHUT AND SHOOT ME’ IS ENTERTAINING PROOF THAT EURO-MADE, ENGLISH-LINGO GENRE FILMS, WHEN DECENTLY WRITTEN AND ASTUTELY CAST, CAN WORK.

On holiday in Prague with his pretty wife Maggie, tubby British fusspot Colin Frampton (Andy Nyman) is devastated when, during a stroll around town, Maggie is crushed, Monty Python-like, by a statue. The driver assigned by Colin’s hotel to take him to the morgue is Pavel (Karel Roden), a seething bundle of resentment hen-pecked by shopaholic wife Liba (Anna Geislerova) into working odd jobs to finance her dreams. With no one to help him and nowhere to turn, the timid Brit, clutching the urn with his beloved’s remains, begs the cash-strapped Czech to kill him, offering a large sum of cash. When Colin naively whips out his plastic, Pavel realises this job won’t be easy. Soon the body count is rising, but none of them belong to the pernickety tourist.

The script—by debuting director Steen Agro, an Anglo-Danish-Italian now living in Prague—comments shrewdly on the determinedly practical Czech character via the plot’s bleaker aspects. But Agro’s ace in the hole is the instant and palpable chemistry between Nyman and Czech industry veteran Roden, best know in the West for his heavy turns in ’15 Minutes’ and ‘The Bourne Supremacy’. They’re not Lemmon and Matthau, but their spot-on timing is on par with, say, the interplay between Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin in ‘Midnight Run’.—Eddie Cockrell.

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