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Podrucje bez signala (2021, CRO) Series review, plot, trailer

After “Novina”, Dalibor Matanić has another good series in which he again gathered a famous person from neighboring countries along with a whole constellation of the best Croatian actors. I read the novel of the same name by Robert Perišić, based on which Hana Jušić, Milan Živković and Jelena Paljan wrote the screenplay, as soon as it came out (it says it was published in 2015, but I felt like I read it 15 years ago, time flies). it served as a template, but was further adapted to the spirit of the times. It consists of a series of six episodes, and although the story is followed linearly (mostly), each episode is told from the perspective of another character.

In the first episode, it is Oleg (Rene Bitorajac), a typical Croatian entrepreneur, a swindler with the gift of speech who will sell balls to everyone. He headed to the provincial and neglected town of Nustin, where he plans to restart a failed turbine factory. The only difference is that the mysterious investors from the Arab world need only one turbine, which in socialism a successful factory produced right there and such a model is not produced anywhere else, and he will find out only at the end of the episode. His introverted cousin Nikola (Krešimir Mikić), an engineer who will become the director of the reopened factory, arrived in Nuštin with Oleg. In the third episode, in the foreground is Shejla (Jovana Stojiljković), a young curator who recently returned to her hometown from Germany, while in the fourth episode is the chief old engineer Janda (Izudin Bajrović).

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In the fifth episode, the round is led by a former soldier and one of the main workers Branoš (Goran Bogdan), and in the sixth and last story we follow from the corner of Lipša (Tihana Lazović), a waitress whom Oleg will meet on the way to Nuštin. Each episode is named after the character from whose perspective we follow it, and just like in “Novine”, Matanić once again hit the casting perfectly. Conceptually, it’s interesting, but there are still some dead ends until the end, and just like the book, the series somehow exudes nostalgia for past times, but also irony for the still ubiquitous spirit of Yugoslav nostalgia and for times when everything was supposedly better. . It seems to me that this whole factory also symbolizes a failed state, brotherhood and unity, a time when everyone had a job and everyone was happy.

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Very soon after the factory starts production and the workers start working, a self-governing spirit will come to life there. The neglected, ruined and sad place that the local sheriff Ragan (Slavko Štimac) cheers and dresses will transform almost overnight into a place where people are happy again and where life has meaning again. It will happen even though it is subconsciously clear to all of them that it is pure utopia and that it is something that is a complete anomaly, something that can no longer exist, but all these people will indulge in such a mood. But other than “Podrucje bez signala” being a series about one utopian entrepreneurial venture and reviving a dead town, it’s even more a story about all these people.

Although some of the characters who will later take the whole episodes are initially only supporting characters (the best example is Lipša who will surprisingly disappear after the short appearance in the first, until the last one), they are all finely rounded and all of them seem to have in common that people who have already learned to defeat life. As if they have come to terms with their fate or the best days are behind them or they are simply not destined for happiness, they will all be transformed to the end and starting production in a dead factory will turn their lives around. The production is all well done and certainly “Podrucje bez signala” is content worth watching.

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