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Fantasia 2021: “Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It”


Rating: 3 out of 5.

Every film festival offers international cinema that introduces the western world to cultures unknown to them. “Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It” (Zhanim, ty ne poverish), from Kazakhstan serves as a reminder that dark comedy not only exists outside, in Asian cinema, but it thrives, grows and gets better with every shot.

There is no need to get deep into the concept of Yernar Nurgaliyev’s film, as it has everything for you to chill, relax and watch an action packed comedy with the elements of Tod Hooper’s “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre” (1974) and Wes Craven’s “The Hills Have Eyes” (1977). The plot is simple, insanely funny, hugely entertaining and as ridiculous as it could get.

When the film opens, through the news, it appears that a number of people disappeared, encouraging people to refrain from going fishing. Dastan (Danyar Alshinov) is on the phone, discussing possible names for his incoming son, who should get born in a few days. He does not want to exercise the idea that it might be a girl. Therefore, takes from his wife, Zhanna (Asel Kaliyeva) boy names only, however, successfully rejecting any suggestion coming from her.

We see him getting tired of his wife’s demands, and accepts his friends’ offer to go out fishing. Zhanna is mad but Dastan could not care less. But once he embarks on a journey with his two friends, Arman (Azamat Marklenov) and Muram (Yerlan Prynsetov) into the wilderness, he does not even realize what he is about to get into. And there will be plenty of moments when Dastan will regret for not being with his wife, neglecting her and promising to be a better man if he survives the massacre began by the silent one-eyed ‘skin head’ (Dulgya Akmolda), who is too powerful to be stopped.

That said, “Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It” is the right title that can be easily addressed to the audience. Literally right from start, it just gets funnier and funnier. Despite some jokes that are more cultural, you will still get the point, which, in a way, will be unthinkable and unbelievable at the same time. So don’t worry about finding the film dull because, in reality, it is better than you think. And it is worth giving a shot.

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