• Release Date:
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 5 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Kawasaki's Rose is a drama about family and politics, the role of memory in relationships, and that of jealousy, arrogance, love, loyalty and betrayal.(Menemsha Films)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Nov 25, 2010
    80
    The point of this thoughtful, moving film is that the motives and actions that define human ethics are never simple and that the Communist regime was especially adept at exploiting this complexity for its own ends.
  2. Reviewed by: Nick Schagaer
    Nov 25, 2010
    80
    Performed and directed with assured elegance, Kawasaki's Rose is a film that recognizes life as a tumultuous mess of both noble and base intensions and actions, as well as one that understands the thorny tragedies such chaos often leaves in its wake.
  3. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Nov 29, 2010
    70
    Kawasaki's Rose is the first Czech or Slovak film to address the issue of collaboration with the former Czechoslovakia's bygone secret police. That history must still be raw for some who survived the era, as it is in "The Lives of Others."
  4. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Nov 25, 2010
    67
    The problem with Kawasaki's Rose is that the theme is far more compelling than the movie.
  5. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Nov 25, 2010
    60
    Such overall familiarity makes the over-the-top soap-operatic elements, such as a histrionic screamathon between mom and daughter, that much more grating-and Hrebejk's upending of cathartic clich├ęs that much more gratifying.
  6. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Nov 27, 2010
    50
    The longer director Jan Hrebejk's film goes on, the more complex the relationships become, until the film becomes little more than a talkathon.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jul 12, 2011
    10
    When we first meet the supposed villain of Kawasaki's Rose (Kawasakiho ruze), he seems like a swell guy. Shortly thereafter, he turns into a real **** going from insensitive to offensively paranoid while the unsympathetic layers begin to pile on as he becomes more loathsome before our eyes. The script is very clear: there is absolutely no reason to like this jerk. We know whom to side with, because the film's morality is simple, especially when we add our subjective viewpoint. But what's black and white becomes grey and messy. And virtue no longer has a face or direction. Blame becomes fruitless and the only real power is the ability to let go. The film starts with an upstanding elderly couple Pavel (Martin Huba) and Jana (Daniela Kolárová) who agree to be part of a reality TV show produced by their son-in-law Ludek (Milan Mikulcík). Their daughter Lucie (Lenka Vlasáková) has just gone into remission from cancer. From there, things get very complicated and troubling. The cast also includes Petra Hrebícková (who plays Lucie and Ludeks' daughter Radka) and Anna Simonová (who plays journalist Bára).

    Three different generations embody pivotal moments in Czechoslovak history. Born during the Nazi occupation, Pavel, Jana and Borek (the kind faced Antonín Kratochvíl) are byproducts of decades of communism. They were freed from one form of fascism only to be taken over by another, never being able to form an identity of their own during their formative years. Born during the time of the Prague Spring, Lucie and Ludek were children of the failed political liberalization in 1968. They began their lives during a brief, bright period of hope, only to have it snuffed out, sentenced to the restrictive existence of their parents. Radka is part of the new age born after the Velvet Revolution that freed the country from communism as well as the dissolution of the nation, having no memory of communism, only growing up around its residual, waning effects. And every one of these generations must confront the same truths in order to move on.

    As a consequence of what transpires, our willingness to judge is impaired to the point that the person at the source of all of the pain--a smug elderly man named Kafka (perhaps a nod to the bureaucratic themes of the famous author) played by Ladislav Chudík--isn't so complicit as he is a casual instigator who maybe pulled a few strings and did a little nudging, but mostly sat back and watched desperate people destroy each other. As deplorable and sinister a character he was, he found himself in a place where he too had to put food on his family's table. Themes deal with seeking redemption out of one's own volition--the only way to correct an imbalance. While making reparations provide a catharsis for a wronged people or person, it's always the individual that must decide what the confession means to them. Yet, here, atonement and absolution are of equal weight on the scales of morality. There is no higher ground, only genuine decisions to confess guilt and accept those pleas. One of the most emotional scenes is between mother and daughter Jana and Lucie. It's both swift and poignant without dwelling on sentiment, which is emblematic of the film as a whole. Director Jan Hrebejk masterfully handles several plot twist in Petr Jarchovský highly charged and eloquent script. For hundreds of years, the Czechs were a people who had always been without their own country, occupied by a domineering outside force, whether it be communism, Nazism or the Austro-Hungarian empire. Ironically, when we meet sculptor Borek, he's a Czech who makes his life where he seeks fit. He is as proud to be Czech as he is to have Sweden as his residence, because home to him is a concept based on relationship, not a physical location. His fondness for his country is best epitomized when he muses over the fantastical litany of Czech swear words. He insists that bad words don't sound more poetic or cathartic than in the Czech language. It's true. I have yet to find a better language to express how pissed off one is than Czech. It's a dubious, yet distinctive badge Borek wears gladly.

    The film's title refers to Borek's adopted Japanese son who is also a painter. The rose symbolizes the reconciliation of the past to give oneself a future of peace. One of the common themes of Czech films with a modern setting is identity as it relates to communism. Kolya tackled similar subject matter. Full disclosure, I come from Czech stock and the subject matter of the film hits very close to my heart. While my reaction to the movie was quite visceral and at least partially subjective, I couldn't help but see this movie as a companion piece to the intelligent and well-crafted German film, The Lives of Others.

    Please read the rest of the review by googling cinesnatch and Kawasaki's Rose ...
    Expand
  2. Nov 1, 2011
    10
    What a great movie! As a person who lived 35 years in a former Soviet republic I can tell that the movie is deep and profound. It raises moral and ethical questions, shows how many tools are at the disposal of a totalitarian state to break even the best of the best. I hope to see this movie competing for Oscar. Expand

Trailers