Film

Vladan Nikolic’s ‘Bourek’ Offers Much Grecian Beauty but Little Memorable Comedy

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Head-wound-induced amnesia. Corrupt televangelists. Annoying performance art. A busty blonde who’s in it for the money. In case you haven’t seen these tiresome tropes in, oh, the last three minutes or so, watch writer-director Vladan Nikolic (Zenith) recycle them without laughs or subversion in this self-described “humanistic art-house comedy,” which mostly proves that sun-drenched scenery does not magically make a story shine, too. Bourek begins semi-promisingly with a banker who believes the apocalypse is coming and that the only safe place in the world is the island of Khronos in Greece, but the movie soon abandons that angle almost entirely, focusing instead on a plucky tavern-owner on Khronos who’s desperate to save her property from pushy German investors.

Other characters show up to state their names and countries of origin and not much else: the aforementioned head-wounded amnesiac, from England; two horny single guys from Serbia; a hash dealer from Turkey; pretentious Germans whose accents curiously come and go; and a Libyan who literally just fell off the boat. Mainly, you’ll probably wish they’d stand aside so you can just stare at the beautiful beaches. You may even hope for the apocalypse to actually happen by movie’s end, but Bourek instead offers the communal eating of the spinach pastry for which the film is named, and the whole cast doing a curtain call that they have not by any means earned.

Bourek

Directed by Vladan Nikolic

Cinemaflix

Now playing, Cinema Village

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