The opening scenes of Sellar's film - in which young Scot Alex Novak (Cumming) arrives in Prague in search of a snippet of film that supposedly shows his family swimming in the river back in 1941 - suggest a distinct improvement upon the indulgent, woolly poeticism of Venus Peter. Unfortunately, the sub-Forsythian comedy of this prologue soon gives way to arty obscurantism. As the increasingly unsympathetic Alex becomes embroiled in a bizarre ménage à trois with film archive clerk Elena (Bonnaire) and her boss Josef (Ganz), the script degenerates into frustratingly enigmatic dialogue and a series of scenes whose precise import is unclear. Characters are insufficiently fleshed out, and Prague is reduced to a picturesque backdrop to a story that doesn't seem to be able to decide whether it's a full-blown romance, a satire on East European bureaucracy, a comedy of errors, or a meditation on the legacy of time, memory and history. The cast does its best, to no avail, with a portentous, contrived script.
Cast and crew