Two Players From the Bench

Two Players from the Benc

Two Players From the Bench

Running Time: 120 mins

Two Players from the Bench, both a political thriller and a brilliant, dark comedy, eschews a Kafkaesque atmosphere as a Serb and Croat must become friends when they are teamed to testify for a war criminal in a story of ethnic boundaries and friendship.

Ante is a burly, loud, patriotic Croat. Katran is a scrawny, resigned Serb whose best man betrayed him, sold him out and slept with his wife. Though at first ethnic tension makes them hostile toward each other, as the two new friends’ situation becomes both more absurd and more dangerous, they realise they must transcend an ancient history of hostility in order to survive.

Serving as an absorbing examination of life after the Balkans War, director Dejan Šorak explores what ethnicity really means to both sides. With stellar performances, especially from Goran Navojec and Borko Peric as the two unlikely heroes, and an inspired script, it is a film as enjoyable as it is important.

David Brooks